Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Valeria Zerbo ("VZ") for their original perspective and innovative approach to design as well as their creative lifestyle, we are very pleased to share our interview with our distinguished readers.

DL: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?

VZ : I am an experienced architect who has worked for award winning practices in London and Venice with an inherent passion for design, architecture and interior design. While still working as an architect, I am using my design skills to develop new bags for PINAPPLE NEW YORK. No matter which scale I am working in, the attention to detail, the understanding of proportions and the critical approach to quality is the same.

DL: What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?

VZ : I decided to dedicate my time to the design of bags after moving from London to New York. I believe that designing bags enables me to help people on a different scale, while as an architect I was using my skills to provide well designed areas where people could thrive, with the design of functional bags I am actually helping women when they are at work or during commute with an item that is designed on purpose for that experience.

DL: Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?

VZ : Definitely I chose it. It was a natural progression from my studies first and then I realized that I was enjoying very much the creative and also technical part of the design process.

DL: What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?

VZ : Currently I am focusing on bag design and at the same time developing my startup that I founded since the launch of BLunch. It is very challenging but also very rewarding.

DL: What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?

VZ : “Design legend” is a little intimidating as I feel I am still very fresh to this world but I take it as a reason to keep working even harder than before. Hard working is the essential skill in general for all industries. In particular a young designer needs to focus on the experience people have of the item. A designer has to define since the beginning what type of experience, emotions people feel when using the product, this drives all projects choices, colors, materials, details.

DL: What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?

VZ : A great designer makes his items unforgettable and they stand out for different reasons, a particular detail, a distinctive color, a particular emotion or a particular combination of textures and materials as examples.

DL: What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?

VZ : A really good design is always a combination of aesthetic, function and successful experience by people using it. When a designer is able to find a sensible balance of these three aspects, I think we can speak about really good design.

DL: What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?

VZ : I love the idea that I can help people by designing great neighborhoods or by designing an item that can solve specific issues we experience every day. Good design lets people have a better experience of everyday life and for this reason has a great impact on society and environment as well. I believe that all designers need to consider sustainability issues for the impact the production process may have on the environment and in particular I am sensitive to ethical aspects that need to be considered inside factories.

DL: What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?

VZ : From my experience of designing BLunch I can easily say that this was made possible thanks to people that believed in me and also offered to help with their outstanding craftmanship in the factory.

DL: If you hadn’t become a designer, what would you have done?

VZ : My mum run a store that she inherited from her dad in the little city where I was born, I possibly would have helped her.

DL: How do you define design, what is design for you?

VZ : Design is a form of art expression that comes with the ability to create a piece which is functional to everyday specific needs and also visually attracting. Its success depends on the experience people may have with it.

DL: Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?

VZ : I admit that I am persistent. As I have worked as an architect before deciding to start this experience, people were a little skeptical. I think the change happened when I found a factory willing to help me and understanding the mission of the project behind it. I need to say thank you to the owner of the factory in Italy who believed in me.

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?

VZ : Education is really important but when it comes to designing it is really the experiences you make everyday that make a difference. A designer gives personal solutions to everyday or special needs, the vision you are able to incorporate in the design makes a difference.

DL: What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?

VZ : If Blunch takes off, I will definitely be able to add more bags to the line. I have already developed some ideas and I cannot wait to give them life.

DL: What people expect from an esteemed designer such as yourself?

VZ : I am assuming to see what is coming next. I think of Pinapple New York as a place where women can find valuable bags deeply thought to help with everyday needs. BLunch for example was thought for women to keep their look and lunch fresh.

DL: How does design help create a better society?

VZ : As designers we can have a deep impact in the production process by making sustainable choices since the beginning of the design process.

DL: What are you currently working on that you are especially excited about?

VZ : As I founded my startup Pinapple New York in September 2019, I am really excited about the chance that sales can take off and start adding more lines to my collection.



BLunch Lunchbag

BLunch Lunchbag by Valeria Zerbo

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