De La Espada is a leading designer and manufacturer of modern solid wood furniture, founded by Luis De Oliveira and Fatima De La Espada in 1993. Hailing from Porto and Madrid respectively and educated in London, the founders opened the first De La Espada store in London in 1996, when there was comparatively little quality contemporary furniture in the city. De La Espada's dedicated factory in Portugal specializes in hand crafting and traditional construction methods to create modern furniture with timeless appeal and the warmth of solid wood.
The De La Espada aesthetic evolved from influences including the Arts and Crafts movement, architects such as Tadao Ando, John Pawson and Alvaro Siza, as well as Scandinavian design from the 1950s. Their expertise in solid wood is renowned and rooted in many years of production at De La Espada's own facility in Northern Portugal. Mortise and tenon joinery, dovetail joinery and frame and panel construction are used in abundance, creating modern masterpieces of heirloom quality.
Matthew Hilton graduated with a degree in Furniture Design from Kingston Polytechnic in 1979. He went on to design products for Paul Smith and Joseph Pour La Maison before designing at product design company Capa, London. During this time he also designed sets for the renowned fashion designer Koji Tatsuno's company Cultureshock.
In 1985 Matthew set up the Matthew Hilton Design Studio and started working for the British retailer and manufacturer SCP, for whom he has designed a number of classics such as the Balzac chair, the Flipper and Antelope table. The studio expanded its practice, working for the following manufacturers: Driade, Disform, Sawaya and Moroni, XO, Montis Perobell, the Bradley Collection, Montina, Livit, Ycami, Andreu World Case and Authentics.
Matthew Hilton was given the highest honor in the field of Industrial Design in the United Kingdom, by being named a Royal Designer for Industry in 2003. In September 2007, Matthew established his own brand, Matthew Hilton Limited as a place he could have complete creative control. In 2008, he was named Designer of the Year by Elle Decoration at the British Design Awards.