HOW WE GOT HERE
In a little studio tucked away off Carnaby Street in London, two individuals had a BIG idea....
Meera's creative prowess and eclectic tastes coupled with Lucio's fascination for design, innovation and business saw this husband-and-wife-team embark upon a journey. This journey would take them from that tiny studio to over 90 countries around the globe, winning 60 international design awards and accolades along the way.
Their first venture resulted from a fortuitous meeting with 20th Century Fox (coming all the way from Beverly Hills!) who granted them their first license to create a collection of dramatic prints featuring Hollywood icons.
Driven by Lucio’s lifelong love of paper engineering, they turned their attention to revolutionising the greeting cards industry. This saw the birth of their 3D Pop Up greetings card collection, which was carefully designed to fold down flat and fit into an envelope without the need of assembly – this marked the arrival of the iconic Swing Card collection. Their signature combination of intricate paper engineering and beautifully detailed illustration continues to bring joy to many recipients today after 30 years of mantelpiece magic.
Impressed with their beautiful and innovative ranges, representatives of Her Majesty’s Jewel House at the Tower of London asked the pair to design and produce an exclusive collection of stationery to be sold inside the world-famous landmark in order to commemorate the Jewels’ new home. Little did they know, a couple of decades later their brush with royalty would be brought even closer…
Having established a name for themselves and hungry for the next opportunity, a series of quirky black and white sketches caught Lucio & Meera’s eye. Something about these simple, child-like drawings appealed to the couple’s humorous side and with that, they decided to embark on their next creative venture. Not before long, the bright and bold Bang on the Door brand was a household name, with Groovy Chick securing her place in the hall of 90s nostalgia fame – a true emblem of the zeitgeist. Within a few years Santoro transformed these simple line drawings into a multi-award-winning brand, generating in excess of $800 million at retail and winning the prestigious “Brand of the Year” award!
With the highest accolade in the brand and licensing industry under their belts, the Santoro's realigned a focus in their roots in 3D products. This led them to sign a publishing agreement with the reputable Simon & Schuster in the USA to design 3 exclusive Pop Up books, showcasing the very best in design and creativity. All three books were hailed as major feats in paper engineering.
Further collaborations followed and saw Santoro’s gift products adorning some of the world’s most prestigious stores and establishments including: Harrods, The Victoria and Albert Museum, Liberty's, Selfridges, Galleries La Fayette. El Cortes Ingles, Sogo, Seibu, Mitsukoshi, United Colours of Benetton, FAO Schwartz, Hamleys, Rinascente, Sach's 5th Avenue… and more!
After building a solid reputation for character brand creation with multiple collections under their belts, Santoro launched the enchanting Gorjuss collection to enormous acclaim. This stunning range of artworks has captivated hearts and imaginations worldwide, regarded in the industry as a brand phenomenon. The unique appeal of these charming, emotive, stripey-socked girls has reached all corners of the globe and shows no signs of slowing.
Santoro reach another milestone, opening a pop-up boutique within Harrods with the Gorjuss gift collection, and an exclusive apparel line only available in Undercolours of Benetton stores.
Santoro opened a temporary flagship store in the historic Milsom Street, Bath UK. International visitors flocked to the store to encounter an immersive Gorjuss experience, as well as a chance to purchase the latest gift collections in the UK as soon as they launched.
2017 marked the launch of the latest strand to the Santoro group – SANTORUS. Santorus would be headed up by the second generation of the Santoro family, Tara and Fabian. This luxury division sees the siblings harness a unique cross-cultural heritage together with an innate passion for design, in order to create a show-stopping brand specialising in wallcoverings, fabrics and lifestyle interiors.
Lucio & Meera were invited to Buckingham Palace to accept a prestigious Queens Award for International Trade. A huge honour celebrating the outstanding international growth Santoro has achieved.
In a year of lockdowns, Santoro was delighted to receive its 2nd Queens Award for Enterprise – the highest official UK award for British business. Fabian visited Windsor Castle where he accepted the award in the presence of HRH The Prince of Wales.