Vero draws from an all-Italian basin of technique and manufacturing, based in Galatina in the heart of Puglia, to achieve long-term sustainability and thus progressive and healthy growth. The production company, led by Pasquale Apollonio, guarantees high quality standards and makes it possible to create complex products with technical characteristics at the level of collectible items. Thanks to its production site with a decades-long history, the network of local suppliers and efficient logistics management, Vero reduces delivery times for products purchased online to under two weeks. The production takes place in highly specialized workshops that keep centenary local expertise lent to the realization of visionary projects in different materials. Starting from an Italian Apulian production, Vero looks to the locals as a bridge to reach and build an international future that allows the export of this simple made in Italy design. The vision is to maintain a conscious and rooted production in Italy, the land of craftsmanship, speaking to more communities of real people around the world.
Vero talks about a new era of Italian design that expresses its values through alternative stylistic and production models. Simona Flacco and Riccardo Crenna, conceive and manage an innovative reality that aims to represent a sector need: to create a brand that listens to and represents a community with shared values. Flacco and Crenna - promoters of digital, simple and effective communication at the service of companies wishing to renew themselves and experiment in the contemporary world by making careful use of social media, content and events - think of Vero as an incubator of talents, a place for establishing a dialogue between all the interlocutors: from producers to designers, from communicators to consumers. This is why they select international designers with a strong and recognizable voice, work with the best Milanese creatives and supervise the production of the pieces to give life to relevant contents. The strength of the creative direction is the communication inherent in the project: from the branding, conceived together with Studio Temp, to the social profile, in which the works of different talents will converge, up to entirely local production to create valuable products. A value that is the result of many excellences and that is communicated in an honest, simple and informal way, a way they have called Vero.
How did the story of Vero begin?
Vero was born from the desire to create something meaningful and relevant in the crowded landscape of Italian design. It all began with an encounter with Pasquale Apollonio, the current owner of the brand. We initially got in touch for another project, but over time, a shared ambition emerged to build a new furniture brand. On one hand, there was his entrepreneurial drive, while on our side, we had a clear understanding of the type of furniture project and brand we wanted to develop. This is because, with Simple Flair, we've been providing consultancy to design companies for over ten years, and we've developed a comprehensive 360-degree perspective on what it could mean to launch a brand in 2022 that is both contemporary and connected to a real community of people.
Once we both realized that we were aligned, we got to work from scratch, building Vero's DNA starting from its vision, mission, and name, and then moving on to the creative, product, and communication aspects. It's a journey that excites us, and we know we're only at the beginning.
As creative directors of the company, how do you work closely with the founder Pasquale Apollonio? What are the core values and design philosophies at Vero?
As mentioned, the relationship with Pasquale is fundamental; our shared vision for Vero is our common ground, and together we manage to nurture it from various perspectives. We lead the creative, strategic, and communication aspects, while he maintains complete control over production, processes, and the entrepreneurial vision. Together, we know that we want to create something significant for the design industry because we have a “true” (in Italian “Vero”) story to tell, built on authentic content, ranging from product quality to the values that these products represent. These values succeed in allowing an already substantial community of people to identify with the Vero lifestyle.
When did you develop a passion for design, curation and craftsmanship? And how did that lead you to where you are today?
Simple Flair was born from our desire to envision the design industry as a more informal, authentic, and straightforward point of reference for contemporary society. We strongly believe in this vision of ours. Furniture and, in general, the lifestyle connected to design, touch the lives of people every day. That's why we have the responsibility to promote authentic and positive values for individuals, every day.
From here, we embarked on a beautiful and inspiring journey that brings us into contact with people from all around the world who share our same vision. By guiding companies as consultants and promoting our own projects, we are striving to make a small difference within the design system. Both Simona and I have a background in architecture (we actually met at the Polytechnic University of Milan). Occasionally, we still engage in designing, mostly out of passion and for very specific projects. However, this education has equipped us with an awareness and skills related to the world of products that are essential for pursuing our vision of the industry.
Who or what has been most influential in your career?
Undoubtedly the journeys and the people. Traveling and meeting individuals with diverse cultures from our own form the foundation of cross-pollination and the true secret linked to our work: staying contemporary.
Please briefly talk about the inspiration behind some of your collections?
The inspirations are always truly diverse from one another; by choice, we don't adhere to a very specific style, but rather, we prefer to talk about lifestyle. It happens that the Californian world becomes a catalyst for creative projects, then shifts towards Japanese culture, or even transitions to the Parisian one. Every day, we strive to ride the waves of societal trends, while upholding the pillars of our principles that shape our industry vision. From there, we translate everything based on the projects at hand.
How do you celebrate informality and transparency of a new era of Italian design?
With genuine products, crafted from authentic materials and contemporary lines that outline timelessness, we strive to capture a specific snapshot of a historical moment, all with a common denominator linked to people. The driving force behind Vero and the new era of Italian design that we envision is the people – the community we are building. It's a diverse community with shared foundations, capable of understanding the value of the product and consciously choosing what to purchase, not only for material purposes but also to declare their affiliation with a certain lifestyle.
What is the next big development Vero has in the pipeline?
There is a lot planned for Vero's upcoming steps. In the brand's first year, it exceeded all expectations, and in this second year, we are focusing on various aspects, from expanding the collection to establishing a strong presence in the markets we've tapped into. This will become increasingly evident over time, with new projects, new designers, and a couple of larger initiatives that will further enhance the brand in 2024. In September 2023, we launched a special edition of the Scoop Ceramics by Zaven in collaboration with leading Milanese Retailer Spotti, it’s a very important milestone for us as this marks our first collaboration with a shop.