Stories of Italy - Where Design Meets Craftsmanship

An incredible duo of Milan-based designers that collaborate with artisans who embody centuries of artisanal traditions, and together they craft pieces that tell stories and keep traditions alive, making them consequential in the modern world.

​​Stories of Italy is a duo of designers based in Milan that create self-handling pieces boded to the Italian tradition of handmade crafts. Matilde Antonacci and Dario Buratto met in 2000 in Florence. After graduating from the Polimoda Institute, they moved to Milan, where they worked in the fashion industry for several international brands. Their lives and careers separated with Matilde continuing as a fashion designer in Milan, London, Paris and Stockholm; and Dario deciding to focus on practicing and teaching yoga in India and across Southeast Asia. They reunited in Italy, both with the need to dive into works that had to do exclusively with Italy, and the extensive heritage of Italian artisanship. In 2015 Stories of Italy was born, with the goal of bringing together design, craftsmanship and art in the attempt of narrating stories about this country.

Matilde and Dario collaborate with artisans who embody centuries of artisanal traditions, and together they craft pieces that tell stories and keep these traditions alive, making them consequential in the modern world. Clean aesthetics, fresh colors, and precious materials – such as Murano glass and Carrara marble - form exquisite functional everyday objects inspired by the great Italian heritage.

How did your company start?

We founded Stories of Italy in 2015 with  the intent of crafting objects that would tell the story of our country while reinterpreting its language. In April 2016, during Milan Design Week we presented our first collection of objects, with the patronage of Vivienne Westwood. We then started working on our first custom-made projects for luxury hotels such as Four Seasons, and with private clients. We are now working on a new project, focused on l'art de la table, and pieces destined to collectors that we will present during Milan Design Week 2017.

Tell us about your products and what makes them special.

Stories of Italy produces pieces using mouth-blown Murano glass and Carrara marble. We try to capture the essence of these two iconic materials and at the same time give them space in the contemporary world by gently dismantling the old aesthetic traditionally associated with these last. Our pieces are inspired by the incalculable archaeological, historical, and cultural Italian heritage, whose objects and symbols we reinterpret with a contemporary sensibility.

What materials do you prefer to work with and why?

At the moment, our passion is Murano glass. The way it is worked that has remained the same for centuries and its large variety of colors and textures is very inspiring. We are also fascinated by its unpredictability: till the end of the cooling process, you never know for sure what the result will be and that can create unexpected effects that are very interesting.

How do your surroundings influence your work?

We chose our name, Stories of Italy, because the territorial DNA is at the base of our pieces. The relationship that our artisans have with Murano and Carrara is one of our main assets. Centuries of tradition, kept in those two places and in those artisans’ hands, are a sample of the priceless Italian heritage that we are proud to share with the rest of the world.

Are there special projects or collaborations you are particularly proud of?

For Il Palagio, the restaurant of the FourSeasons hotel in Florence, we made glasses that we designed with the guide of chef Vito Mollica, mouth-blown and hand crafted by our artisans in the island of Murano. They are a modern interpretation of the difficult “incalmo” technique that creates very interesting color-blocking effects. For their centerpieces, we customized one of our most iconic objects, the one-flower vase “Dattero”, using an amethyst color.

We are particularly proud of the custom-made service we provide to hotels, restaurants, architects, and private clients. We design tableware and home décor in precious Carrara marble and Murano glass starting from the initial idea and ending with the finished product.

Inside the Carrara Marble workshop of one of the artisans that collaborate with Stories of Italy to create incredible home decor pieces.
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