10 years of SBW with Creative Director, Lisa Vincitorio
From humble beginnings to 10 years as an end-to-end furniture design house, we sat down with Creative Director Lisa Vincitorio to discuss her career in design, the genesis of SBW and the trajectory of the brand.
How did SBW begin?
SBW was originally formed in 2010 and launched in 2011, when Laelie Berzon and I combined forces with a shared vision to create an Australian designed and manufactured furniture brand. With a prior history in design and furniture sales in the A+D market, we felt that we could create a range of versatile and creative products that would service designers in creating unique and beautiful landscapes. It was important for us to create products that are well designed, focusing on attention to detail, customisation and adaptability.
We wanted to be a part of the whole process, from concept, to production and eventually to the end location. As a designer, with a career that has spanned nearly 2 decades, that was one aspect I didn’t want to miss out on again. I wanted to see where the product ends up. Unfortunately, as a product designer, it is one side of the process that you miss out on if you design for a design-specific company. And for me it is one of the most satisfying parts of the business.
When did you first develop an interest in furniture design?
I knew very early on in high school that I wanted to be in a creative field, but it wasn’t until I attended the RMIT university Open Day that I realised that a specialty in Industrial Design, and in particular furniture design, was the direction that I wanted to follow. I have always looked at furniture as a usable and functional sculpture. Furniture has the ability to add depth to a space when needed, or almost disappear in a space to let the interior speak if that is required. It is all in the design. When designing a piece, it is important to balance form and function. It is a juggling act that if done successfully, can result in trans-seasonal or trans-generational pieces.
What is your design philosophy?
It is important to me that we create quality products that transcend fashion and trend. We have products in our range that predate SBW that are still relevant. We are able to easily bring a product back into relevance by re-colouring or selecting different materials. I think that is entrenched at the core of what we do. It is also of importance to design products that are accepted by the end user, and within a marketable price point. This, in my opinion, differentiates a product from just a piece of art to a piece of utilitarian design. Our philosophy is about longevity and applicability. I truly believe that unless you can balance all these aspects, you have not been successful in the design outcome.
What inspires you creatively?
I have always been inspired by the world around me, whether it be nature, fashion, graphic, or architecture. When we are planning a new collection, we are considerate of our clientele, what we lack in our collection, and what we want to say about the SBW brand entity through a new range. We are constantly telling an ever evolving story of who we are through our work.
What is your favourite SBW piece and why?
I have an affinity with the Halo collection from our current range, in particular the Halo sofa. I love the balance of materials, with its fine lines and plush upholstery. I love how the frame is made up of 3 continuous circles, and how the arc forms scallop at the front-bottom and again at the back-top. It is intricately welded and detailed, each piece intentional. I am very excited by our new collection and its play on different materials, which will exude luxury. It is an evolution of the SBW brand, far removed aesthetically from our current collection yet complimentary at the same time.
What is your biggest achievement for SBW to date?
I would say moving into our showroom, and being included in the Women in Design publication have been great highlights for SBW.
Where do you see SBW in 10 years?
I would like to see SBW expand to having showrooms opened nationally!