In a little studio tucked away in a little street off the iconic Carnaby Street in London, two individuals had a BIG idea....
With Meera's innate all round design prowess and her eclectic tastes and Lucio's fascination for design, innovation and the challenge of breaking new boundaries they found themselves starting a journey that would take them from that tiny studio to over 60 countries around the globe, winning 50 international design awards and accolades along the way.
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The first collection didn't go unnoticed - not long after it's launch, Lucio and Meera were hosting some very important visitors. 20th Century Fox had come all the way from swanky Beverly Hills to their tiny studio off Carnaby Street. By the end of that visit Santoro were granted a license by the famous film-makers to create a collection of dramatic prints featuring Hollywood icons.
Before long, Santoro had outgrown its little studio and needed space to expand its horizons. Driven by their desire to innovate and break new ground, Lucio and Meera embarked on the creation of a revolutionary, interactive, moving 3D greeting card collection which would be folded down flat to be sent by post without the need of any assembly. The now famous Swing Cards® were born in 1994 and have won numerous accolades since, including "Card of the Year", a "Most Creative Use of Paper" and an "Art Director"' award. They continue to bring joy to their many recipients whom now number in excess of 15 million. Simultaneous collections of design led gifts, accessories as well as fashion led stationery have continued to achieve further recognition: Santoro have won "Gift of the Year" four times in the last decade alone.
With its highly successful stationery and gift collections, fast developing reputation for innovative, multi award winning creations, Santoro was again receiving some very important visitors. Impressed with their delectable creations, representatives of Her Majesty's Jewel House at the Tower of London asked the pair to design and produce an exclusive collection of stationery which would be sold in the exclusive Jewel House boutique inside the world famous landmark - The Tower of London - to commemorate its reopening.
When Santoro came across a few sketches of some child-like drawings, both Lucio and Meera saw their potential, but not until Santoro had stamped their mark on the project. What were a few sketches became bright, bold funky and groovy creations. Having transformed the sketches into artwork people fell in love with, what was to be named Bang on the Door was launched. Soon the pair created a new division of their design house- Santoro Licensing. Within a few years Santoro transformed a few line drawings into the multi-award winning 'Bang on the Door' collection generating in excess of $800USD million at retail and wining the "2000 LIDA Brand of the Year" award.
Having achieved the highest accolade in the brand and licensing industry, they embarked on yet another new avenue. They signed a publishing agreement with Simon & Schuster in the US to design three pop up books. The books centred on Santoro's interactive revolutionary paper engineering and vivid artistic scenes - Journey to the Moon (2007) was release first, then Predators (2008) and Wild Oceans (2010). All three books were hailed as major feats in paper-engineering.
Further collaborations followed and saw Santoro's products adorning some of the world's most prestigious stores, boutiques and establishments such as MoMA in New York, 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 and Sach's 5th Avenue- the list goes on.
The designers turned their skills to another long standing passion - architecture and interior design - under the name Santoro Deluxe Design. With Lucio's love for modernist architecture and understated style being coalesced with Meera's courageous colour combinations Santoro Deluxe Design has completed a number of luxury properties, both nationally and internationally. Their design skills were recognized when these properties were awarded the 2011 Bloomberg & Google International Property Award for Best Residential Property Interior and were Highly Commended in the 2011 Bloomberg & Google International Property single new property development category. In addition they were also shortlisted in two Categories in the 2011 KKB awards and also short listed in the 2012 SBID awards.
After the instant and repeated success of their properties, Lucio and Meera Santoro were invited to join the ranks of many other world renowned interior designers at the prestigious Society of British Interior Design.
Santoro is still pushing back the boundaries and creating instantly impressionable collections. Their latest collections are no different - with the beautiful, elegant and sophisticated Mirabelle, the ethereal and enchanting world of Gorjuss.
A brief history of Santoro
1983 – Lucio and Meera set up their first premises in a little studio off Carnaby Street in London. Soon after the launch of their debut collection, 20th Century Fox came to visit and granted Santoro the license to create a print collection featuring Hollywood icons.
1994 – Santoro launched the first Swing Cards®. These unique, moving 3D cards have since brought joy to over 15 million recipients and won numerous design accolades including "Card of the Year", "Most Creative Use of Paper" and an "Art Director" award.
2000 – Santoro's Bang on the Door collection won LIDA's "Brand of the Year" award - the highest accolade in the brand and licensing industry. This enormously successful collection of bright, bold sketches generated over $800USD million at retail and heralded the launch of a new division in the Santoro group - Santoro Licensing
2007 – Lucio and Meera's first pop up book, Journey to the Moon, was published by Simon and Schuster. Centred on Santoro's interactive designs and vivid artistic style, Journey to the Moon and the following publications Predators (2008) and Wild Oceans (2010) have been hailed as major feats in paper-engineering.
2010 – Santoro launched the beautiful Gorjuss collection to enormous acclaim. This stunning range of artworks has captivated people's hearts and imaginations. The ever expanding collection currently features over 800 products and is available in more than 55 countries around the world.
2011 – The success of Santoro's property development division - Santoro Deluxe Design - was recognised when Lucio and Meera won Best Residential Property Interior and were Highly Commended in the Single New Property category at the Bloomberg & Google International Property Awards. Their properties have also been shortlisted for two Categories in the 2011 Kitchen Bedroom Bathroom awards and in the 2012 Society of British Interior Design awards.
2013 – Santoro opened a pop-up boutique in Harrods and launched an exclusive apparel line only available in Undercolours of Benetton stores.
2015 – Santoro opened Santoro store in historic Milsom Street, Bath, UK.