October 5, 2012
Italian retailer Campio Marzio Design proves that there’s still room for quality craftsmanship in an industrialised world.
Dating back to the early 1930s, Italian pen and business accessories retailer Campio Marzio Design boasts a rich brand history and an impressive path toward worldwide expansion.
In 1933, an anonymous craftsman sat hard at work creating personalised pens and writing instruments in the Campo Marzio Bottega in the heart of Rome. Although originating from humble beginnings, by the end of World War II, the shop’s unique pens became renowned among Romans and sought after by Nobles, politicians and artists.
As the Italian lifestyle evolved, so did the model of the classic fountain pen. Improvements were made, and solutions were found, up until the point when the market was transformed by the invention of the ballpoint pen. With the change in trends, the Campo Marzio Bottega was reduced to a laboratory specialising in the repair and sale of imported pens.
The 60s and 70s brought industrialization and consumerism, causing crisis in the artisan class, however Campo Marzio Bottega was able to continue their production of quality goods, thanks to discerning customers who would not settle for common, mass produced goods. In the 90s, the shop gained new life in the fashion industry with the emergence of the first collectors of vintage pens. Determined to revive the original activity, the company aimed to maintain a high level of quality craftsmanship and trendy design by designing, producing and marketing writing accessories for the business world.
Finally, in celebration of the Jubilee of the Roman Catholic Church in 2000, Campo Marzio Design had the opportunity to produce a special collection of rare fountain pens for the Vatican Museums, launching Campo Marzio Design into the international spotlight.
Despite this success, Campo Marzio Design remains out of the franchising scheme and has opted for three different ways for independent investors to get involved: boutiques, department store counters and shops in shops. As an effort to remain true to their roots, repair and personalization services are still offered and executed by craftsmen who survived after the industrialization period.
Since 2006, Campo Marzio has expanded on an international level and now includes 9 Italian boutiques (+57 department store counters) and 17 international boutiques in Asia, Australia, Europe, The Middle East, South Africa, North America and South America.
Image: Campio Marzio Design