Remy Cerritelli is the new kid on the block of Australian furniture design.
With her partner Alex Cummins, the Swinburne alum is breaking the mainstream furniture mould with bold, honest style through their brand Steeloto.
Their steel designs are the antithesis of modern mass production furniture and appeal to an audience seeking unique design pieces.
A passionate student makes a dedicated designer
Unlike most of her cohort when she studied a Bachelor of Industrial Design, Remy knew she was destined for furniture design.
Her degree equipped her with the technical skills needed for her career, but her honours year deepened her creative exploration.
“My honours tutors made me feel like I could just go for it, do whatever I wanted to do without worrying if it fitted into traditional industrial design,” she said.
Steelotto was born out of Remy Cerritelli and Alex Cummins’ shared love of quirky and radical design
The spark for Steelotto ignited in conversations between Remy and Alex when they discovered a mutual love of radical, quirky design.
They share a passion for styles perceived as ‘undesirable’ in mainstream furniture.
As they developed their own style and ethos, they drew inspiration from 80s Italian design, the Bauhaus, the Memphis Group, and many others also driven by a desire to stand out and reinvent the design landscape.
“These designers were radical, breaking rules and creating stuff which people didn’t get straight away,” Remy said.
“I like to think that's us too. A lot of people don’t get it: most of our designs are very linear in form, featuring harsh lines & what is broadly considered as an ‘ugly’ colour palette. But that's the thing, people get it, or they don't.”
Steelotto designs champion locally-manufactured steel and showcase the material’s beauty and versatility
Appealing to likeminded Australians
Steelotto’s products and brand resonate with people hunting for the unique.
It has designed furniture for cafes in inner city suburbs like Fitzroy, South Melbourne and Carlton.
Locals have noticed the unique design pieces and sought out the brand.
Remy said interactions with this customer base are far more personal than typical retail.
“They don't necessarily have heaps of money,” she said.
“But before they purchase things, they think about it, they obsess over it. When they do buy, it's a meaningful purchase.”
The Steelotto furniture used for the new Hector's Deli in South Melbourne includes the Chubby Stool and Chubby Bench
Steelotto is now expanding its audience through a partnership with James Richardson Furniture.
This will bring the brand to showrooms across Australia, where people can view and engage with the products.
“Straight off the bat, James Richardson showed how keen they were,” Remy said.
“They were passionate about taking on the brand.”
While Steelotto is excited to connect with new customers across the country, its goal remains the same.
“We try and stay true to what we set out to do,” Remy said.
“The biggest success for us is having created a brand with products that people actually want to buy and engage with.”