Evergreen and Design

Evergreen and Design

Timeless, ageless, full of great notoriety, even after many years of initial success: this is what is meant by the word evergreen. But what magical ingredient makes a product evergreen? This comes as a result of its iconic being, which is highly capable of communicating and is far from the usual contexts. It’s one which cannot be inserted in a precise historical context. It’s always current, and in short, it surpasses time!

Everyone recognizes a bottle of Coca Cola, even without its label. The most famous drink in the world allows us to explain another feature: being appreciated by everyone without having to change your image. In the 1960s, Warhol himself, by painting his famous Coca Cola series, emphasized its democracy. There are many examples in our own country: one of them is the Vespa, the object of desire of every Italian in the 1950s, and still today, regardless of class. There are countless examples of Italian evergreen design: from the Arco Lamp by Castiglioni to the Lettera 22, as well as from the Sacco armchair to the Zanuso radio for Brionvega.

The winning sign

The role of design is precisely that of tracing those clean and decisive lines capable of conferring an emblematic character. Innovation and an extraordinary idea from ​​a designer can change the history of an object forever, bringing it to the Olympus of “timelessness” and giving it a sort of immortality. These splendid icons improve and sometimes change our lives, filling them with a beauty in which nothing is superfluous. By using a syntactic mastery of design, these products develop timeless formal relationships between signs, erasing what is not needed.

An iconic object is also able to create an affinity or a feeling of affection with the user. How much value can a faithful companion of a thousand adventures bring?

Being able to create something unmistakable translates into several tangible and intangible advantages for a company. The latter could even use the concept of being evergreen as a manifesto of its values ​​to differentiate itself from competitors. An example is the Smeg Bombino, a manifesto of iconicity (intangible value). Having such an extraordinary product at your disposal also guarantees tangible value: a constant flow of revenue, exploiting what is called a “cash cow” in financial terms. A current new philosophy, based on the concept of owning less but owning better, has given an incredible boost to second-hand or modern antiques markets. Unlike products that become obsolete after a very short period post-production, and which require a replacement to feel up-to-date (think: the run-up to the latest mobile phone model), an evergreen product is always at the forefront and always has value.

Evergreen Economy

Vespa is still an excellent example, as it is often more fascinating and precious to own a historic one than a new one. Its charm goes hand-in-hand with the satisfaction of following its eventual restoration. In addition to DIY, there are shops specializing in repairing modern antiques. Our country, in fact, is rich in this extraordinary craftsmanship.

Evergreens have a high residual value, which is difficult to devalue over time, and which become real, so-called "investment" objects. In this particular feature, Vespa is considered the best ever. It is the vehicle with the greatest ability to maintain its value over time. The average residual value of vehicles analyzed after three years is around 55.7%, while for a Vespa it is 72%, with some versions, such as the Vespa Sprint 150, coming in close to 80%.

What will the evergreens of tomorrow be?

The value aspect of timeless products brings benefits not only on a personal level, but also to the environment and society. Sensitivity to the environmental impact is, in fact, always important, so much so that 56% of young families believe in reusing and declare themselves against waste. An iconic product fits perfectly into this context as an example of real value, one which always remains the same without requiring replacements.

An example is the fashion sector, which is responsible for 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions, second only to oil pollution. The most important brands are currently activating strategies to respond to this challenge. A giant like LVMH has introduced a blockchain that tracks the provenance of production materials to offer its customers transparent answers. Other brands, however, are trying to produce by using only fabrics with a low environmental impact, or are focusing on the recycling of production waste, such as Ermenegildo Zegna. Still in the field of fashion, we remember how an evergreen item of clothing remains in our wardrobe for years as an iconic piece, a source of pride and elegance as well as an example of true sustainability.

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