Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Franco Cozzo

As soon as a Melburnian reads this post headline, they will know who I am talking about. While I've seen the mural from a train, I've never seen it properly, so I made an effort. The Italian immigrant Cozzo became a very rich man by selling furniture but after peering in the windows, I really can't understand why. Clearly I have no class whatsoever and no respect for whatever this furniture style period these pieces are from. Perhaps Hels can advise me on my ignorance?










Here is a brief tv ad from the 1980s. Can you believe the same ad is still shown here on some shopping tv channel late at night, but in the tv ratio format of the time.


Here is a two and a half minute video of an older and very prosperous looking Franco talking a bit about his life here in Australia. As we say in Australia, he has been in a good paddock for a bit too long (face slap to you who thought, haven't you Andrew?).


39 comments:

  1. He does look to have been living well. He wouldn't have been straining those buttons through any contributions from me though - what I saw of his furniture is not to my taste.

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    1. Certainly not mine either EC.

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  2. I like looking at furniture, but that furniture store does not show the furniture very well. There is no staging. Everything is in plastic wrap.

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    1. Gigi, it is said that once the furniture is taken home, the wrapping stays on.

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  3. He sold to those who aspired to a good life in their adopted country - to show their friends and family they had made it. They wanted to be reminded of the life they 'might' have had if they had stayed in 'the old country' hence the very Italian look of the furniture. His stores were/are always in the western suburbs where his customers lived
    Well that's how I've always felt about his success.

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    1. Cathy, quite so and like me, you could probably recite those suburbs where his stores were.

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  4. If what Cathy says is true, maybe he can sell some of this class-less furniture to Ms Sparkles for their Canada home!

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    1. Haha Maribeth. Do you think she would like the furniture?

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    1. It's not my style of furniture...but that means little. We each have our own, individual likes and preferences, and that style isn't one of mine. But I can understand it would suit and fill the desires of others.

      In saying the furniture isn't to my liking doesn't mean I have to criticise or denounce it or those who like and can afford it. Each to their own...

      Credit to the man for being a success...for having a successful, profitable business, I say. Good on him.

      Why does one have to knock another for being a success? I think it is great that people are successful in what they choose to do.

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    2. Lee, I don't think anyone criticised anyone who liked the furniture, all just expressing the furniture was not to their taste. No one is knocking Franco. He is or was a widely loved Melbourne character and of course good on him for being successful. Undoubtedly he worked very hard.

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  6. I agree with Cathy. Whenever impoverished migrants came to the New World, the first things they wanted to do is get a job, put their children into a school and learn English. Buying a small house and buying furniture like the family had back at home in Italy/Greece/Yugoslavia etc came a bit later.

    Franco Cozzo was a genius, wasn't he? He tapped right into migrants desire to re-establish Southern Italy in Melbourne. But mama back in Naples couldn't have ever afforded expensive Baroque furniture in the 1950s and 60s, and in any case it hadn't been fashionable for many decades. Thus Franco Cozzo provided aspirational furniture!

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    1. Aspirational furniture Hels! Love it.

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  7. Ye Gods! That bedroom furniture is terrible! And that lounge suite with the much carved frame would require dusting at least every day to keep it looking clean. All those little corners and edges would have to be wiped individually. I quite like the little hall table with the mirror above it, but not in white.

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    1. River, some pieces I don't mind myself but certainly not the lounge or bedroom suites. You are right about cleaning too. Nightmare.

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  8. I should have said that furniture is terrible TO ME. As Lee says above, others may like that style and think the stuff I like is terrible. Each to his/her own.

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  9. He has my coffee table in the doorway. I bet it cost a lot more than the $89 I paid at the 2nd hand place. I love that coffee table and the same place has a gorgeous hall table with carved legs and a drawer. I have no place to put it. Andrew with his usual lack of taste has picked the worst to show us. The finish on the bedroom furniture is beautiful, like a mirror. He came into his own when the McMansions were being built but no good now with these tiny townhouses.

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    1. Jah Teh, yes we used to have a similar coffee table during our 'antique period'. I think one of his stores had now closed, so you are probably right about the decline.

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  10. Taste in furniture is as unique to every individual as their taste in food or clothing. I personally don't care what kind of furniture I use as long as it's comfortable and impervious (relatively) to cats sharpening their dang claws :)

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    1. Jenny, I guess that means no fabric arms to the floor on your lounge suite.

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    2. jenny_o; buy a forest of scratching posts and use a spray bottle of water to deter the cats from the furniture.

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  11. He certainly has been on a good paddock (my late dad used to always say that). Lot of work in some of those pieces of furniture and looks to be beautifully done and good for those people who like that type of furniture. Another migrant who has done well for himself and family - they worked very long hours so they deserve the best.

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    1. Margaret, without doubt it would very fine craftsmanship. Many did work very hard to become the successes they turned out to be.

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  12. It been a while since I been in a furniture store or seen ad on T.V. I find them irritating.
    The last piece I bought as in the furniture line was used piece. I believe it was found on Craigs list.

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    1. Dora, we have Craigs List here too. but I've never really looked at it.

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  13. Do you have extremely rich football players in Oz? That furniture looks exactly their style.

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    1. Cro, not as rich as those in England, and I know what you are saying.

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  14. Some of that I could see in the right space, but not my space.

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  15. Send him out to the range, off the good paddock for awhile, let him scrounge his forage. Maybe I need to do that a little more too. Big Sale, big Sale! That furniture looks expensive. And strange.

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    1. Strayer, I really don't know if it is expensive or not. I find some of it a bit creepy.

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  16. I've always been impressed by those who wrap their furnishings in plastic and run plastic runners on the floor too - and on lampshades. Note: they would never be my friends, as I can't bear the slidy hiss of sitting on anything of theirs. But they never have to replace, just a quick anti-bacterial wipe once the guests have gone.
    Extraordinary. It reminds me of the woman with curlers out to see the pope roll past and one wonders is there any occasion for the removal of curlers or plastic coverings? My money is on "NO".

    XO
    WWW

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    1. WWW, can't say I've come across anyone who does that but I know they are out there. I remember old English sitcoms where a woman would never be seen without her curlers in, perhaps with a scarf.

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  17. I understand many women used to sleep with their hair in curlers. No wonder they all had headaches and needed a cup of tea and a Bex and a good lie down each day.

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    1. River, very uncomfortable I should think.

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  18. Strange style of furniture, I'm surprised he became rich selling that!

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    1. Sami, there were probably pieces we would find easier on the eye and maybe the worst is in the windows.

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  19. Wow! Just wow! I hear the rustle of plastic across the Nullarbor 😉😊

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    1. Grace, gotta protect your expensive furniture.

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