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François Zuretti wins Lifetime Achievement Award at the Design & Innovation Awards

8 February 2023 • Written by Holly Overton

French designer François Zuretti has been announced as this year's recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at the BOAT International Design & Innovation Awards in Cortina d'Ampezzo.

Dubbed the "god of interior design" by one of his long-time clients, Ambrose Young, Zuretti began his remarkable career in Morocco, where he designed the interiors of royal residences and palaces. His early reputation as a master of art deco style gave him his entrée into yachting in 1987, when he worked with Martin Francis on the iconic Eco (now called Zeus) before establishing his own design firm. In the early 2000s, he moved to the South to be closer to his yachting clients and set up Zuretti Interior Designers. The Zuretti Group expanded later with Zuretti Exclusive Residences.

BOATPro credits Zuretti as the visionary behind some 200 yacht interiors and he has picked up plenty of silverware for his work over a three-decade-long career. He found great success with a multiple-yacht, multi-year collaboration with Paolo Vitelli on the popular Benetti Classic, Vision and Crystal series, while other creations include pure custom superyachts with some of the world’s best-known yacht builders. These include the Ambrosia, Princess Mariana, Apoise, Martha Ann, Amadeus, Albatross, Symphony, Amadea and more recently, the 80-metre Amels Energy.

The main saloon on board Feadship Symphony

No matter the style of interior, the consensus among his fellow designers and interior outfitters is that he shows remarkable attentiveness to the most minute details and great respect for the work of artisans. They also remark on his humanity and gift for storytelling.

During this career, while the business has grown exponentially, his public persona has remained as it was at the beginning, nearly absent. Outside of yachting circles and a tight-knit cadre of people in the know, you will find very little about him in newspaper or magazine articles. However, ask anyone in the yachting sphere and it is clear he is regarded as one of the greatest interior designers of his time.

He accepted his award at the Superyacht Design Festival in Cortina d'Ampezzo to a standing ovation.