In 1951, Michel and François Semaan founded a furniture production factory with a man force of 130 workers. It was renamed “La Galerie Semaan” in 1959 when 40% of its production was exported to neighbouring Arab countries.
At the onset of the civil war in 1975, the factory was burned to the ground; local production was eventually replaced by italian furniture targeting the high-end market. François seaman became the pioneer of Italian designers’ furniture in Lebanon. Since then, Beirut started witnessing the latest creations of the “Milan International Furniture Fair”, Salone del Mobile, through the artifacts of Stilnovo, Danese, Molteni, Fontana Arte, Zanotta, Unifor, B&B Italia, Design Gallery, Ultramobile and others.
At the time Mr. Seaman was directing the business along with his daughters Aurore and Mimo.
La Galerie Semaan has built over the years a strong reputation in the region and abroad. This image resides in the experience built through several decades of furniture trading as well as a vast know-how of Italian design.
It fosters excellent relations with the commercial services of the Italian embassy in Lebanon. These special ties contribute enormously at strengthening the image of la Galerie Semaan as the inevitable showcase in the Middle East of the Italian way of life at its finest.
Since 1994, Mimo Semaan took over in leading the Galerie and providing her clientele with the best. A real passionate, she is always on the lookout for new talents and everlasting design pieces. She works at creating unique ambiances over the 3 floors of the 1000sqm showroom, by putting forward each item’s essence in the combinations of the different brands and styles.
La Galerie Semaan is currently the exclusive representative of about a dozen brands, of which Arflex, Baleri, BD Barcelona Design, Bitossi Ceramiche, Emmebi, Macmamau, Officina Rivadossi Falegnameria, Plinio il Giovane, Tato, Warli and Zeus Noto.
In recognition of its accomplishments, La Galerie Semaan was selected on June 15th, 2005, as an honorary member of the "Altagamma International Honorary Council", Altagamma being the association of leading Italian companies in the high-end segment of the market.
On August 13th 2017, Mimo was decorated Cavaliere dell'Ordine della Stella d'Italia by Italian ambassador Massimo Marotti, 30 years after the decoration of Francois Semaan.