SMEG – Technology with Style
posted on 8th Jan 2019 by Pat Kinsley
Coming from a design background, I have always been curious about the vintage shaped fridge with the peculiar name that seemed to be a must have for anyone that fancied themselves a lover of design. Why the design style? Why the name SMEG? What does it mean?
We don’t always want to remember retro – whether that’s shaggy brown carpets from the 70s or fluffy skirts with poodles on them from the 50s. But what is it that makes these 50s-styled appliances so appealing in 2019? Is it the nostalgia? Or is it the fact that SMEG designs stand the test of time? For SMEG, style means the way a product communicates with its surroundings and enables users to interact with it. Knowing how to combine technology with style is the key for SMEG in creating products which become truly iconic.
The “Made in Italy” stamp carries equity in itself. From its leather to its cars you know you are getting the best of the best. So it’s no surprise that a little family business in a town in Northern Italy would become one of the world’s leading appliance manufacturers. SMEG has become more than just a good brand, but synonymous with good taste, high quality and technology. But how did they get to where they are now?
It all started in 1948 in an era of economic growth and rapid urbanisation. SMEG was founded by Vittorio Bertazzoni from Guastalla as an enamelling plant working with metals. The acronym SMEG, Smalterie Metallurgiche Emiliane Guastalla (or Guastalla Emilia Enamel Works in English), serves as a tribute to the original workings of the company. As social structures, living patterns, lifestyles and families began to change, SMEG was inspired to revolutionise kitchen appliances – making domestic appliances a status symbol whilst designed to meet technological demands.
Through the years, SMEG added more technological advances to its catalogue, becoming pioneers in gas cookers, dishwashers and laundry ranges – all with the latest bits and bobs that make housework easier than ever. Each SMEG piece has been subjected to harsh control tests during its production process to guarantee high quality, leaving the end user with peace of mind knowing they’ve purchased the best of the best. But it’s SMEG’s style that has truly defined their continued success.
Technology with Style
“SMEG appliances ooze Italian style. From retro 50’s style refrigerators to classic stainless steel cookers, SMEG appliances shape trends and tastes and integrate perfectly with the style of the user which goes beyond mere practical terms.”
Its elegance and originality have captured the attention of renowned architects such as Guido Canali, Mario Bellini, the Piano Design Studio, and many more. The innovative company has also joined forces with Italian fashion brand Dolce and Gabbana creating two collections. The first collection, Frigorifero D’Arte, is a range of hand-painted fridges by Sicilian artists enriched with Dolce & Gabbana’s signature decorative style. Sicily is my Love is the second collaboration that ranges from toasters, citrus juicers, coffee machines and blenders and decorated with Sicilian symbols, home to Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana.
PAT KINSLEY, FOUNDER AND MANAGING DIRECTOR
One of the original Brand Thinkers on this Island, Pat has spent the last 33 years extolling the virtues of branding as an essential commercial device that improves every company’s bottom-line. A native of New York City, he brought this passion to Dublin City and now it travels with him wherever he goes!