AN ITALIAN DESIGN LUMINARY LEADS THE WAY IN CONTEMPORARY STYLE
An Italian design luminary leads the way when it comes to contemporary style.
Browsing the Moroso website (moroso.it) 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 (hubfurniture.com.au). 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.