Design stores have been popping up in many areas of the country, but it seems some are starting to take a more sinister turn.
Bay Design store owner Michael Calfo, who was also a designer himself, has been spotted in Adelaide, Victoria and the Gold Coast.
He is believed to be a former member of the National Party and has appeared in an advertisement for the Federal Government’s controversial $2 billion carbon pricing scheme.
The ABC understands he is a former business partner of the founder of the notorious “Bay Design Store” chain, which has also been accused of running a number of other notorious retail businesses in Adelaide.
It is not known whether Mr Calfi is the man behind the Bay Design Store, which was set up by former Liberal MP Peter Collier and now runs a variety of business fronts, including a design studio, design school and design store.
Mr Calfio is also believed to have been involved in the sale of the former St Kilda Docklands Sports Centre in 2011.
He has also previously appeared in several advertising campaigns for the federal Liberal Party and was the first Australian to be awarded the prestigious Design Australia Prize in 2012.
Mr Collier was an influential figure in the development of the climate change policy, and he was one of the key players behind the creation of the Australian Climate Change Council in 2013.
The former minister has also appeared in a number ads for the Liberal Party, including one for the “Bay design” store.
“I’m not a businessperson, I’m not someone who’s going to run a business,” he said.
“But I think it’s an opportunity to bring people together, to bring a little bit of a different flavour to what the people of Adelaide are used to and the people that live here, the people who are passionate about the environment.”
Mr Cafo is not the only prominent figure to have made waves recently with his controversial views.
Last year, a local business owner was accused of making racist remarks about African-Australian man David Brown, who had recently moved into the town of Bounds Cove.
The man, who did not want to be named, told the ABC that the remarks were not “in the spirit of business”.
“You don’t get to say things like that and you’re still in business,” the man said.
The Bounds Cove Residents Association said they had received calls from businesses across Adelaide in the past few days and they wanted to remind them that racism was not tolerated.
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