Cover Photo: Florence Ko with Italian Ambassador, Guglielmino

President and co-founder of Gruppo Mobili, Florence Ko, is awarded the Order of the Star of Italy (Ordine della Stella d'Italia)

The President of the Republic of Italy, Sergio Mattarella, recently awarded our very own Florence Ko with one of the highest honours given to expatriates and foreign nationals. The Order of the Star of Italy (Ordine della Stella d'Italia) is a recognition of Ko's "outstanding contribution in building relationships between Italy and the Philippines". 

As president and co-founder of Gruppo Mobili, Ko has been essential in the distribution of high-quality Italian furniture. Her brands include Furnitalia, Space 2000, Calligaris, and Lucem. 

Read more: Tuscany, Italy: Why You Have To Visit At Least Once In Your Lifetime

 

Though the award was given to Ko last year, the ceremony only took place on the 29th of July 2021. It was conferred to her through the Italian Embassy, with ambassador Giorgio Guglielmino present. 

"Over the years, thanks to Florence Ko's entrepreneurial and marketing expertise, the number of brands being distributed [by Gruppo Mobili] has grown to include luxury furniture pieces from top-level Italian houses such as Poltrona Frau, Molteni & C, Giorgetti among others," the award states. "Moreover, she has launched her own furniture company, Space 2000, of which production makes use also of Italian suppliers." 

Ko dedicated her speech to her husband. "He started more than 30 years ago promoting Italian products from hardware to appliances to architectural products to stones to machineries to raw materials [and] making modular cabinets." She added: "Whenever we thought of a new product to promote in the country, Italy will always be first in our hearts."

See also: Why Is Everyone Talking About Stanley Tucci's Show, 'Searching For Italy'?

  • PhotographyMyra Ho