Interview with the founder of the Milan creative consultancy and studio, SVPERBE
Eugenio Ormas is the cofounder of SVPERBE, the first creative studio and consultancy in Milan, established in 2011. Bringing together some of the best international visual artists, including illustrators, designers, directors and photographers, SVPERBE has worked on multiple exciting projects from designing the cover of a Stephen King novel to the packaging of Kiehl's beauty products. Having had the opportunity to meet with Eugenio in a cafe in Milan's trendy district of Brera, he described to us the struggles that his agency faced starting out and some of their impressive recent projects.
Why is your agency called SVPERBE?
The name was difficult to come up with. You want to create a name that gives an idea of superior quality, that's high level, but not snobby. Svperbe means you're at the top. That's how the name came about, and the roman symbol 'V' was added to make the logo more unique.
When was SVPERBE found?
The idea of SVPERBE is to bring a small amount of top artists together keep the quality high, instead of having a large amount of average people. We started SVPERBE seven years ago, in 2011. I had experience working in a textile studio, styling and working in freelance and my partner, Michelangelo, was an illustrator living in Barcelona.
What is the coolest project you've worked on?
We had the opportunity to work on a lot of cool projects. When you are just starting out with an agency, you can work on crap projects to make money, but you can also be selective and only work on good quality projects to keep the level of your portfolio high, which is what we did. One of our longest and most complex projects was a project for the Hub mall in Shanghai. In China, mascots are a big thing and so we helped to develop a mascot for the mall with Craig and Karl, called BaDa. We wanted to develop something special for the mall, but communication was not easy due to the language barrier. We had to create a mascot that could take a lot of different characterisations as the mall also is a business centre and airport. So we created a mascot consisting of an orange 8 figure, as both the color orange and number 8 are lucky in China.
Does China have significant demand for European creative talent?
I think it's getting less and less. As China is growing, they're also demanding a higher quality. The average quality of Chinese agencies used to be quite low, but the country is full of intelligent, creative people and a lot of them go to study abroad, which brings European expertise back to China.
What was the biggest problem when you were starting out with your agency?
Explaining what we were doing. In Italy, we were the first consultancy specialized in the management and representation of visual artists and a lot of people did not understand us. In Milan, we are used to having agencies for makeup artists, models and photographers, etc. but for illustrators and such, we don't. When we would speak to creative talent about what we were doing, they first thought we were stealing their jobs, but in reality, we are actually helping them make more money as you save time by not having have to focus on on the non-creative aspects such as doing invoices.
How did you get into creative industry yourself?
I studied Design in Milan and then did a Masters in Visual Design. In between, I worked as PA for a fashion stylist. After speaking with friends that were working in illustration, I realised the need they had for a creative agency that represented them.
Are most of your projects abased in Milan?
Most of our projects are based in Milan, however we also have a lot of international projects that require us to travel to the the rest of Europe and Asia. In our industry, it's very important to be with your clients as you are spending so much working with them. So although we are based in Milan, we still spend a lot of time working internationally.