We couldn’t help noticing that a new store offering stand-out vintage Italian design has popped up in our neighbourhood.
Design aficionados and restorers Patrizia Castorina and Ugo Cocchis have scoured the European continent to stock their Collingwood showroom, Castorina & Co.
Ettore Sottsass, Marco Zanuso, Anna Castelli, Afra and Tobia Scarpa, Giancarlo Piretti and Studio D’urbino Lomazzi – design icon overload! These are just some of the masters stocked at newly opened Melbourne furniture showroom Castorina & Co.
‘We’re focused on selecting only the finest: prototypes, one-off pieces, limited editions, museum-grade items and pieces with storied provenances,’ explains Patrizia Castorina, who co-founded the business with partner Ugo Cocchis. The couple share a strong passion for mid-century modern Italian furniture and homewares, and are excited to bring pieces by some of Italy’s most admired designers to collectors and design enthusiasts in Australia.
‘Italy has always been revered as a world leader in design. From the Renaissance to the Twentieth Century to today; Italy’s arts, architecture and design have flourished due to an innate understanding of materials, craftsmanship and style,’ explains Patrizia, an interior design and design history buff. ‘For me, the biggest thrill is not the selling, but the process of creating an awareness and understanding about the remarkable period, and the innovators of that time.’
Co-founder Ugo gained his love and appreciation of Italian Art and Design by working alongside his sister Cristina, who was a restorer for Accademia di Belle Arti Venezia in Italy. The concept of Castorina & Co. was actually born when Cristina visited Australia in early 2016. ‘She identified a gap in the vintage furniture market: though it may be flooded with mid-century design – Australian, American and Scandinavian – there was no retailer specialised in Italian design,’ notes Patrizia.
Castorina & Co. have established a reputation for finding, restoring and retailing some of the most exclusive Italian design in the world, and they undertake significant research into pieces that are often without tags or labels due to their age. Prized discoveries include an extremely rare travertine and chrome floor lamp by Giuliano Cesari and Enrico Panzeri for Nucleo, circa 1970; a near-impossible-to-find dining table by Anna Castelli Ferrieri for Kartell in 1967; a bright red plastic Planta coat rack designed by Giancarlo Piretti for Anonima Castelli in 1972; a one-off sofa and armchairs set custom designed by Pierre Balmain in 1975; and the Slab Coat Rack designed by Studio D’urbino Lomazzi in 1969 – one of which hangs in the MoMA collection in New York.
The duo apply the simple standard of only sourcing and importing pieces that they would cherish in their own home, and they hope to build their Collingwood showroom into a point of reference for all the collectors and lovers of fine, and mid-century design, as well as a place of inspiration. ‘For all who visit, Ugo and I relish the opportunity to talk post-war Italian design and to impart our knowledge to others,’ welcomes Patrizia.
Castorina & Co.’s showroom is located at 26 to 28 Sackville Street in Collingwood, Melbourne. Their current collection can also be viewed online, here.