A few months ago I had a nice interview with Alice from wearmore.it , an Italian communication agency that also runs a blog where they interview designers and creatives. Here is the link to the Italian interview and below is the translated version:
He was born in Italy from an English mother and an Italian father; until he was 13 he lived in London, then followed his parents to the "Bel Paese". He is Joseph Amoruso, the founder of The Paperplane Workshop (The PPW), a consulting firm, specializing in the design and production of performance & lifestyle footwear, which over time has expanded to include accessories and clothing.
Dividing his time between Genoa and London, Joseph gave life to an important reality, which became a reference point for his customers, we at WearMore wanted to interview him to let you know more about his business reality.
Would you like to tell us more about what The PPW does?
«At The PPW we follow the entire project life cycle: from design to the development of the first prototypes to production. Over time we have developed a very diversified team that has allowed us to expand our know-how and thus become a point of reference for our customers on several product categories. »
Design and innovation, this is the combination you are looking for, right?
"We are certainly always starting from a very simple concept: for us, every product must be able to live its own life and have enough substance not to depend on the brand placed on top of it, but at the same time each ingredient must be functional to the final result. Personally, I suffer from products that are just a cocktail of "hype" ingredients without any connection between them. Going back to the union between Design and Innovation, I think it is inevitable to look for it today, it is not always possible and I think it should never be forced: to innovate something you have to improve and not complicate. »
I saw that you started a videogame project (Sneaker Invaders). Was it conceived as a capsule that combines fashion and pop culture?
«Yes, Sneaker invaders was born with the intention of being simply a small video game with a level only for our website and then we lost a little control ... It has become a project with its own life. We wanted to make a real tribute to the sneaker culture, through a complete experience with 10 levels: from sneakers to the music to the production of real retro arcades that we took around the world last summer. It was a very interesting and entertaining journey, being a completely new world for us and we were fortunate enough to have some very clever collaborators who allowed us to facilitate the execution in such a short time. Today have put the project on standby to be able to dedicate ourselves to our real world of design, but we are already thinking about a version 2.0. "
With LB9 Brand instead, you decided to help a start-up, not just footwear then.
«Yes exactly, as I said before, over time we have expanded our know-how and for LB9 Brand, of which we then became partners, we provide a 360-degree consultancy: from the backend to the frontend. My goal in the future is precisely to be able to build a complete structure, which supports start-ups from the beta phase of the project to the structuring of their internal team. LB9 Brand was launched about 18 months ago together with world canoe champion Luca Bellini and the sport-tech incubator Wylab, with the idea of becoming a new benchmark for technical clothing in the world of canoeing, but in little time we have noticed a great interest and market value in the other water sports and today our mission has again expanded on all water sports, where we are already achieving great successes.
It is currently a fully DTC project, but in the next 12 months we will begin the roll-out of a retail project and in the meantime, we are working to get to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics with the widest possible athletic park. "
Italy-London, what is the connection? Why did you decide to expand the activity across the Channel? How did it start?
"Although it was very difficult for a thousand reasons, the move (from England to Italy) was fundamental for my career since I was a child, it allowed me to start at the age of 13 with one more ingredient: dual nationality. I've always used it in my favor: in Italy I was English and in England I was Italian and so when I found my first job as a part-time graphic designer at 17 for a well-known Italian sportswear company, I took advantage of my "knowledge" of the two worlds to make me useful from day 1.
At the age of 18, I made my first trip to Asia as a footwear designer although I knew very little about shoes. I learned everything in the field by committing an infinite number of errors and often finding endless solutions at the last second, but I was lucky enough to find great mentors who had the patience and passion to allow me to grow. "
Do you have any other projects in the pipeline?
«The projects are many and constant. We have recently concluded a couple of very important agreements for us and I hope soon to be able to tell you more.
2019 will be a great test for all of us on several fronts! In addition to the growth of our team, with the planning of 4 new entries by the beginning of 2020. "
At WearMore we try to highlight its added value in every brand. What does PPW's More represent to you?
«I would say versatility and being a chameleon. The ability to not only bring personal taste to the table, but to immerse ourselves in the customer's request, knowing that the best product is not what we like, but what gets the best results. "
Interview by Alice Bianco
Original Interview can be found on wearmore.it