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Vincenzo tells me that the traditional handwritten letter to Santa Claus will soon evolve into a digital wishlist, something that can be shared directly with Santa Claus’ social media account (overseen by his elf social media manager).
His daughters, aged seven and five, have already uncovered the digital potential of online gifts and are into printing them out, cutting them and gluing them to a sheet of paper, only to send them to their beloved Santa Claus. What kind of world would we be without the digital age?
Vincenzo (aka Vin) is one of the three founders of LOVEThESIGN and is responsible for marketing and technology. What is certain is that without a digital world we would have a world without Vin. And we’ll never let that happen, which is why on Christmas Eve braving the crowds and buying gifts just doesn’t happen. I prefer to imagine chewing away at a ginger biscuit with a cup of tea in hand while, click after click, I knock down all my friends’ and relatives’ wishes. Only after getting through mine, of course.
Even more breaking news from Vin (not exactly a difficult task shaking him for info, his daughters will have an easy time!): For months he’s been working on a new look for the LOVEThESIGN site. I tried to get the scoop on the release date but nothing came of it. Time will tell until that one day we check out the site only to find a new look that will leave us speechless.
Vin, you founded LOVEThESIGN with two other partners, you take care of marketing and technology, have two daughters and a wife, last year we played tennis together, someone has also seen you running in the park early in the morning. How do you do it all?
It does sound like I do thousands of things! I certainly do a lot, but never more than a couple at a time. Multitasking is a myth and I’m just one man. First comes my wife and daughters, then the company and every once in a while sports because I simply can’t do without them.
Are you more of a dad or a manager?
The family is my most successful start-up. So definitely Dad.
1 • Vin, how do you surprise your little girls every Christmas. Is it true that you dress up and drop from the waste chute? In Milan there aren’t many chimneys…
I would like to point out that I’ve got a fireplace, but it is new age – an eco-friendly fireplace - and I’d rather not go inside. Although, I admit, for my daughters I’d do anything. The trick of disguise held up in the first few years but I fear that I will soon be caught. I’ll be so sorry about it; I can’t even imagine how much emotion while be coming from my little ones as they wait for Santa Claus and his sack!
2 • What will you give them this year?
We have to give gifts to the girls and their imaginary friends. They have well-defined personalities and would be deeply offended if we left them empty-handed! For the youngest, a puppet from the Anne Claire Petit line: I went old-fashioned, handmade because these girls are already a little too much like their digital Dad! For her little friend who’s afraid of the dark, a bright alter ego nightlight to keep on the nightstand. My oldest daughter isn’t afraid of anything. She’s energetic and hyperactive, so the colourful ottoman by Sitting Bull is right up her alley, as she can both jump and play but also rest on it. Every so often, at least.
3 • The letter to Santa Claus – do you write it together? Is it true that your wife tries to hide a gift for herself between the lines hoping you won’t recognise it?
How could I not notice? The handwriting is different and definitely not as kid-like. It’s now a joke that we play every year at Christmas, a laugh-filled ritual. I’m actually pretty sure this year she’ll try and sneak in the Ptolemy bookcase; She’s been throwing it into casual conversation now and then, I think it’s a subliminal message.
4 • Are educational or vintage gifts things that keep the children busy while you and your wife are looking for a special moment under the mistletoe?
Fortunately, with a few lines of games such as Roof Studio, there is no need to distinguish between fun and education: Children build games with their hands and then have fun playing, drawing, messing around, customising and sharing. And while doing all this, my wife and I rest assured, convinced that we made the best choice for them.
5 • Moving on to the Christmas Eve dinner or Christmas lunch, how do you keep your little rascals seated?
It is always a tall order, especially when at the table alongside little cousins and dogs wandering between your feet under the table. I learned to set the table with different accessories that make them feel special, as if this were a super special dinner. My little ones just love fairies and elves on glasses and bowls by Wilk&Walsoe, for example. This year’s surprise is the egg cup/placeholder by Lucie Kaas: I know that we will end up naming each one!