Neale Whi­taker:


Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - TASSIE LIVING -

An Ital­ian de­sign lu­mi­nary leads the way when it comes to con­tem­po­rary style.

Brows­ing the Moroso web­site ( is the de­sign equiv­a­lent of choos­ing from the most ex­quis­ite choco­late box imag­in­able.It’s no won­der the Ital­ian fur­ni­ture brand’s show­room is con­sis­tently the hot ticket at Mi­lan De­sign Week. Quite sim­ply, if you haven’t checked out Moroso, you haven’t been to Mi­lan.

If you’re not fa­mil­iar with the name, I guar­an­tee you will recog­nise many of the de­signs – not to men­tion its le­gion of im­i­ta­tors. Moroso has pro­duced some of the most iconic chairs of re­cent years – such as de­sign leg­end Pa­tri­cia Urquiola’s Smock (as seen in the lobby of Mel­bourne’s Crown Metropol) and su­per-sexy leather Fjord; Su­per­nat­u­ral (the cute lit­tle alien by Bri­tish de­signer Ross Love­grove is one of the most-copied cafe chairs); and Tord Boon­tje’s psy­che­delic and curvy Shad­owy.

Head­ing to Aus­tralia this week, Moroso’s art di­rec­tor, Pa­trizia Moroso, is the daugh­ter of Agostino Moroso, who founded the com­pany in 1952. Of­ten de­scribed as “de­sign roy­alty”, Moroso counts Urquiola and fash­ion doyenne Mi­uc­cia Prada as her close friends, and is one of the vi­sion­ary women at the helm of con­tem­po­rary de­sign.

In­dus­try in­sid­ers say Moroso has an unerring in­stinct for not just read­ing the zeit­geist but cre­at­ing it.Her early em­brace of the hand­crafted and cross­cul­tural aes­thetic that has since gripped the de­sign world was prophetic. Aside from Urquiola, Moroso has cham­pi­oned de­sign celebu­tantes such as Dutch mae­stro Mar­cel Wan­ders, Ja­pan’s Nendo and Lon­don-based duo Doshi Le­vien.

At my first Mi­lan De­sign Week in 2007, I was mes­merised by an in­stal­la­tion – com­mis­sioned by Moroso – by Toku­jin Yosh­ioka, where thou­sands of waxed drink­ing straws cre­ated a dream-like cloud­scape. Vis­ual magic is the Moroso trade­mark.

Moroso loves the colours of Aus­tralia and the spir­i­tu­al­ity of our red cen­tre. “Aus­tralia is a lot about red,” she says, re­veal­ing red and black as the dom­i­nant colour com­bi­na­tion at her home in Udine, where the com­pany is also based.

Moroso de­signs are avail­able lo­cally at Hub (hub­fur­ni­ Hub owner Jaci Foti-Lowe calls it “a gutsy brand”.

“It’s ex­actly that ir­rev­er­ence for the ex­pected that I adore, and Pa­trizia Moroso is at the core of it,” she says. “Moroso sets the bar for years ahead.” Neale Whi­taker is edi­tor-in-chief of Vogue Liv­ing.

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