Melbourne was introduced to Ross Madden in 1977 when his fledgling furniture store, Aero Designs, come to flourish in the city’s inner east. But he is perhaps best known for R G Madden, a boutique retail chain that became a beacon for lovers or furniture and design throughout the 90s and 2000s.
The R G Madden stores around Australia would show an eclectic mix of pieces that formed loosely into a familiar aesthetic, tied together more by Ross’ idiosyncratic taste than their own brands or makers. Ross’ stores were synonymous with designers of reputation and beauty and they were, in part, responsible for the proliferation of brands like Alessi, Iittala, Mandarina Duck and Mondaine.
Ross combined R G Madden with consultancies that saw the development of retail projects for companies including BMW Australia, Bretts Hardware QLD and Rochford Winery VIC. His mentorship and promotion of design saw him inducted to the Design Institute of Australia’s Hall of Fame.
He has been in the industry for more than 40 years but explains that after a break he was drawn to start exploring things from a different angle. As he started working on this new business he didn’t really have a plan, but once Ross began choosing pieces a natural theme evolved - "The best analogy would be to the slow food movement interpreted as a range of carefully conceived design products.”
For Ross, his businesses were always about what to edit out as much as what to include in a range. Which is why whatever he does, and particularly for ross madden, it is always personal, thoughtful and passionate.
Welcome to ross madden.