Santhià, Italy – The shoemaker’s son often goes barefoot, but not in the case of EC Studio, an Italian accessories display company. The business, founded in 1994 by Enrico Caruso, started out as a creative interior design studio and evolved into a powerhouse that devises and produces accessory displays — and they’ve put special care into their showroom, an intriguing display for displays.
Housed inside its factory near Milan, the exhibition space pays homage to its location by presenting the items in metal cages, against walls with industrial-style finishes. And yet, as a contrast and a nod to the delicate nature of their work, a calculated setup of lights and shadows and some sparing touches of red on textiles add warmth to the stark materials.
Among the many collections on view, Accessory, made for fashion, includes shoe stands, bag holders, belt displays, eyewear displays and wallet displays. EC’s attention to detail is ever present in the objects — for example, the bag holders have a thin half-moon piece that allows purse handles to fall perfectly on it, without damaging the leather; the belt displays have rounded corners in order to avoid scratching the accessories. This section also features one of the brand’s all-time bestsellers, a shoe riser that was designed more than 15 years ago that was timeless from the first day. ‘Even with minor changes, it still has the same design,’ explained founder and art director Enrico Caruso. ‘We aim to have products that are timeless rather than follow trends.’
And yet, they keep innovating: that’s why the UNICO collection is the result of a thorough study of materials, with objects in metal, wood or Corian that feature fluid design and no rigid connecting points.
Then there’s TOTEM, a central pole that serves as an attachment point for different displays, allowing retail spaces to create a total look each time.
The jewel of the crown, though, is a space reserved for custom orders and collaborations with architect firms. It’s where clients from all over the world — EC has a second location in New York City, to better serve its American customer base — ask for the complex requests that end up becoming new materials, finishes and shapes that keep the company moving forward technologically and creatively. As the US branch co-founder Carlotta Caruso explained, ‘the relationship with our customers is not just about what we have on our catalogue, but it’s also about us being their partner of choice for every display need — even if the solution doesn’t exist yet!’