nestify meets Valeria Ruzzon, founder of Costa’s Barbers Casual Wear

London’s southern borough of Battersea may be overlooked as a destination for stylish and curious restaurants and cafes, but nestify’s resident design snoop Zoe thinks this is all the more reason to shout about and enjoy the places that flout this assumption…

Costa’s Barbers Casual Wear is one of these treasures, tucked away on 165 Battersea High Street, a little market street – a wonderful one-stop antiques-styling-props haven all under one roof. The vintage furniture, mainly from the 50s and 60s, is available to buy or loan for shoots, and with a cafe at the front where you can enjoy a cup of tea in true retro style, it is well worth a visit. (Particularly if, like us, you are experiencing a sudden wave of unexpected nostalgia after watching My Week With Marilyn).

We enjoyed a chat with owner Valeria Ruzzon to ask how it came about:

When did the shop open?

Costa’s Barbers Casual Wear opened in August 2009.  It’s based in the old barber’s shop on Battersea High Street. I fell in love with the 1950’s shop window and the red and white ghost sign, so I decided to keep the name – it’s as random as the eclectic collection in the shop.

The coffee shop gives people an opportunity to engage with the pieces without fearing a hard sell. Some sit quietly in a corner contemplating something specific, others simply love sipping coffee surrounded by wonderful, unusual things.

 What kind of products do you feature in the shop?

I am not fixated on a specific era, style or look. I buy things that I am drawn to here and there and slot them in together. I don’t try too hard to match – I find many interior retailers over-styled and contrived. Beautiful things find their own harmony and create their own stories.

I buy 50’s and 60’s pieces but only if they stand out. I find that a lot of mid-century furniture can be quite ugly, but because they are still such fashionable and culturally defining decades, everything is thrown in the mix.

(Saying that, I am addicted to Mad Men – the styling is breathtakingly good).

How did you come to open the shop?

After a long career in the city, I moved to project management in interior design for Monica Lupi, a great interior designer and antique dealer based in Florence.  Monica is a great friend and inspiration and she gave me the courage to go solo.  My style is a reflection of my personal, eclectic taste, all I know is what I like.

What is on your Christmas wishlist?

On my Christmas list this year is the perfect addition to Costa’s Barbers: a little four legged friend. And I promise, I won’t call it Costa.

Can you tell us anything fabulous (apart from Costas) about Battersea?

The best thing about Battersea is Battersea High Street, one of the few remaining cobbled street off the beaten track in the heart of London. The perfect spot to watch the world go by, and not a chain shop in sight.

 

 

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