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Who's Where: Jason Castriota joins Stile Bertone
by Eric Gallina   
 
Pininfarina Hyperion unveiling at Pebble Beach: owner Roland Hall, Jason Castriota, Lowie Vermeersch and Paolo Garella (left to right). Click for larger images
Maserati Birdcage 75th (left) and the Ferrari P4/5
Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano and Maserati GranTourismo

Contrary to what was previously disclosed, Car Design News has now confirmed that Jason Castriota, who left his position at Pininfarina on the eve of the Paris Motor Show in September, is set to become Design Director at Stile Bertone. He will start his new position on December 1.

Castriota had initially intended to set up his own design consultancy before being approached by Bertone. "I was convinced I would set up my own consultancy and be free and elastic," he said, "But they made me an offer I couldn't refuse."

"At the end of the day it's great to follow in the footsteps of some of the greats in automotive design,"  Castriota said.

The young designer will now fill the position left vacant by David Wilkie when he joined electric car startup Mindset full-time in October. But Castriota also said that he was able to construct a whole new team of designers in the last few weeks: "I'm the oldest guy on the design team and I'm only 34!"

"The idea is to become a leader in the consultancy segment; a center of reference," Castriota said, "Our objective is to strive to be a boutique of excellence."

"There is lots of space for consultancy if it is done well," he added.

Born in New York to Italian parents, Castriota began working at Pininfarina following an internship at the Italian coachbuilder's facilities while a student at Art Center College of Design. When the internship ended, Castriota decided to stay in Turin rather than return to the US to complete his studies. He would later work under Ken Okuyama at Pininfarina, continuing the training he received as a student of Okuyama's at ACCD.

Projects worked on by Castriota while at Pininfarina include the Ferrari P4/5, Maserati Birdcage 75th, Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano, Maserati GranTurismo and the Rolls-Royce Hyperion, whose design was supervised by Design Director Lowie Vermeersch and unveiled at this year's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.

Bertone is expected to make a formal announcement next week.

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