It may not be Italy’s design capital, but Naples certainly has its fair share of creative talent. Take a look at the Raro Design shop, for example, in the old-money district of Chiaia. It’s just brimming with colourful, contemporary, homegrown ideas for interiors. As befits a smallish local outfit, the Raro concept aims for excellence if not actually exclusivity. Designs by a young in-house team are manufactured using a canny association of selected industrial processes (for serial quantities) with fine local craftsmanship (for customization and some justifiable Neapolitan flag-waving). Raro also matchmakes between established designers and the quality-driven manufacturers it can vouch for.
The Raro collection includes furniture, mirrors and accessories. Iron is the name of their first-ever line in low steel tables designed by Roberto Liberti and Raffaele di Bartolomeo, an upside-down U-shape supremely adaptable to an array of nestable sizes, colours and variations. A taller, round table has a base of steel rings topped with coloured glass or wood, and there’s also a big glass-topped beauty called Trapezio after the shape of its wood-and-steel base.
Wood and the skill of Neapolitan artisans in fine inlaid work come into their own in series called Frammenti and Mosaico, a surprising range of gorgeous cupboards, chests and shelving designed with curves and/or unorthodox angles. And on to a pouf collection in interlocking shapes, mirrors with seriously big, thick, colourful, curvy frames, and bits and bobs like hooks, a tray, a planter. Collaborations with Naples’ legendary experimental workshop La Fabbrica delle Arti and other artists/designers have generated a series of coffee cups in 7 original designs Made in Naples by Lithho Ceramic Italy, personalized lamps and some wonderful graphics. Inspired ideas galore. Clara del Giudice is the member of the Raro lineup who also does whole interiors with stunning results.