Designed by Officina11 Studio, Zerogloss Design Store is a large home furnishings and decor shop located in Vicenza, Italy that was once a 1960s factory. Housing such brands as Normann Copenhagen, Muuto, SCP and Anglepoise in addition to emerging designers, the open, industrial building was transformed by Officina11 into a museum-like loft featuring modern furniture exhibitions surrounded by inspirational quotes reminding you to pick up something unique for your space. We take a tour and chat with owner Andrea Dori about giving this old building a new life and its next installment.
Why did you pick this city/neighborhood/storefront?
This old industrial building belongs to my family since the 60’s, when my grandfather moved here his car workshop. More or less 10 years ago, the activity was closed and the building disused. Since then, I’ve never stopped thinking how to connect the idea of a design-dedicated space with the desire to give a second life to this factory and to its fascinating history.
Where did you get the name for the store?
Zerogloss, in the technical jargon of the varnish industry, means without gloss, matte. This working space has inspired in us the feeling of something rough and essential, like the dusty shades of the old tools consumed by the working hours.
Why did you choose to use quotes throughout the space on the walls and what do they mean to you?
We’d like to communicate in an immediate but also ironic way some concepts that could explain to customers what we are trying to do. For example, the quote in the entrance wall “think more, design less” should be an invitation for the people coming inside to feel free and independent when approaching design, by following only their own sensations.
What’s one of the challenges you have with the business?
We are trying to become known in our city as a new reality with a quite different approach compared to the traditional furniture shops of the surrounding area. Zerogloss is a space dedicated to home design but also to various accessories and objects for life that share a unique style, not only a function. So it’s very important for us to reach those target customers that could really appreciate our project and love our products selection.
What other stores have you worked in before opening this one?
I’ve never worked in other shops. I’ve followed other projects, but this is my first time in the retail.
What’s your favorite item in the store right now?
I think it’s the Kenneth sofa by SCP… with that blue tweed and that 1950’s shape, I really love it!
What is this season’s theme/inspiration/story?
In this moment, of course, we are setting up the store for the Christmas period, so we have new products with a winter design spirit. For example, the wool cases for iPhone and iPad by the Italian brand Pijama, the wooden bottle opener by Areaware or the felt Pinworld Wall Maps by Palomar.
Are you carrying any new products and/or undiscovered gems you’re particularly excited about?
We have a brand new product that we choose immediately for our shop when we discovered it…we fell in love at first sight! It’s the natural soy wax candle by Rewined Candles. It’s made by discarded bottles and each fragrance is designed to mimic the flavors and aromas of different wines.
What’s been a consistent best seller?
One of the best seller of our shop is the Cristal Carafe by Normann Copenhagen.
Does the store have its own line?
Not yet, but we have some ideas that we hope to develop soon with a team of young designers of our city.
Any special events/exhibits/pop ups/collabs coming up?
Yes. First of all, on December 7th, we will present for the second year “The Xmas Collection,” a selection of food and wine products combined with design objects in original Christmas packages.
Then, next year, we are developing a new project, a co-working hub, inside another building near our shop, for graphic designers, other designers and photographers to work on their projects. This space and the shop will be connected to create a unique creative zone and a network of collaborations.
Do you have anything from the store in your own home?
Yes, of course I have many pieces, for example the Unfold lamp by Muuto—the blue one—and the Primary Clock by Thorsten Van Elten. I think it’s very important to use the shop’s objects in your daily life, so you can better explain to customers their features and, sometimes, also find out their flaws!
Visit Zerogloss at Str. del Pasubio, 106 36100 Vicenza, Italy or online.
Photos courtesy of Officina11 and Andrea Dori, photographer: Emanuele Tortora.