Santoro - London
The year was 1985, and 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.
In 1994, driven by Lucio’s lifelong love of paper engineering, they turned their attention to revolutionizing 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…
In 2000, 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!
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!
2018, 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.
2020, 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 Wale