Creative Director | STUDIO BLANCO

Valerio Tamagnini is co-founder of Studio Blanco and Cultural Capital with his partner Sara Tamagnini. Studio Blanco was born in 2005 to curate the strategic and visual identity of luxury brands working in the fields of design and fashion. Based in Reggio Emilia, Italy, the studio offers an outsider’s perspective and a boutique approach to its clients, working across the communications spectrum, from positioning to creative concept, art direction, print and digital.  In 2017, Valerio and Sara teamed up with Anja Cronberg to start Cultural Capital, a Paris-based project aimed at making critical thinking an integral part of the fashion industry. Using the rigour of scholarly research and the creative and conceptual freedom of the fine arts, Cultural Capital aims to disseminate knowledge and promote a debate around contemporary fashion.


1. What was your very first job?

I started organising concerts and events when I was 16. I guess that was my very first job, even if I was my own client. Later on I went to work for an Italian booking agency for a few years. I guess that was my first regular job with a regular salary.

2. Please describe, in your own words, what your job is and what work it entails.

I simply love creating interesting things and selecting fascinating things that are already out there. I try to mix them in unexpected ways, helping them to get the fame they deserve.

Anyways, formally I’m the Creative Director of Studio Blanco, the agency I co-founded back in 2005 with Sara Tamagnini, who’s also my partner in life. Last year we also started a new venture called Cultural Capital, focused on content and curation.

3. How did you discover that the creative world was right for you? Was there a time in your life that you credit to this discovery? What was there train of events that brought you to where you are today?

As a teenager I was into the punk and hardcore scene, perhaps that is where I interiorised a DIY approach to life, the idea that I could do what I loved by my own means. Living in a small city like mine - Reggio Emilia, North of Italy - meant that several interesting events were happening elsewhere and there were no high speed trains to reach them, so I decided to bring them here instead. That way I started my career as a promoter. 

I’ve always hated people who complain and do nothing. As for me, I’m quite practical. That approach is still present in what I do now: I push to create connections, involve talents, devise new strategies and so on. In this sense, I’ve been a “creative director” from the very beginning. We can talk about music, images, communication, digital or just food: it’s the same, for me it’s about bringing new ideas out into the world.

4. In your constantly growing and expanding industry, how do you find inspiration to keep your work fresh, innovative and relevant?

Traveling and the Internet are obviously important, but I guess meeting people is still the best way to learn and get excited by something new. It’s always magical to hear about a story or a project in someone else’s own words. 

5. If you had to pick one piece of work or project that you are most proud of, more for the creative work and innovation it required, rather than its recognition or industry “success,” what would it be?

I’m really proud about To Belong, a project we conceived and produced between 2012 and 2013 after a massive earthquake struck our region. It became a book, a traveling exhibition, and a small digital project. It was difficult and intense but in the end it paid off it: we managed to create something that worked both as a testimony of what had happened and a celebration of the hardcore nature and innate resilience of our community.

This is the long presentation of the project, written by our friend Cosimo Bizzarri:

"On May 20th, 2012, at 4:03:52, a crack opened in the earth's crust under a village near Modena called Finale Emilia, where for more than a thousand years the territory of Emilia has ended and the rest has begun. Two huge blocks of land overlapped, sliding and crashing against each other, trying to steal each other's space, like fiery, claustrophobic giants. Sixty thousand and three hundred meters above, on the surface, the ground rose by 15 centimeters. The buildings' foundations began to swing, cracks made their ways through the plaster walls. It lasted for twenty seconds. Then the streets quickly filled with men and women in their pajamas, scared to death. All but seven, who would never come out.

In the following weeks, the earthquake rattled Bondeno, Mirabello, Medolla, San Possidonio and Novi. It reverberated everywhere in the provinces of Modena, Reggio Emilia, Ferrara, Mantova, Rovigo, Bologna. Over two months, 2,300 aftershocks left almost thirty people dead and a society in shock. Cars were smashed by the debris of the buildings under which they had been parked. Entire factories crumpled, and looked suddenly fragile. Jackals stole uniforms from rescue teams in order to pillage the evacuated houses. Those who had been evacuated screamed at the other jackals: the TV crews. Palaces without facades, whose furniture could be seen from the street. Castles and bells towers torn down without dignity with dynamite. Everywhere, barriers and dust.

A people that wakes every morning on a broken land can have only one goal left: pull it together. So week after week, doctors went back to heal their patients, factory workers to cast their girders, cheese makers to sell their cheese and builders to erect houses. 

Studio Blanco contributed with what they do best: a visual story to join together Emilia's faces and places, as if to ward off the possibility that the crumbling of the land could be followed by the crumbling of the people who lived on it. 

To tell this story, they invited Swedish photographer Anders Petersen, a man who has nothing to do with these places, but who has made raw and moving reportages about vulnerability for more than forty years. Over eight days in November 2012, Studio Blanco brought Petersen to toll roads and museums, riversides and devastated squares, letting him photograph wherever, whomever, however he liked, with the idea that only an outsider could find and capture the spirit that keeps these lands together. 

A young contortionist, a knotty tree trunk, two elderly people dancing in a ballroom. One year after the earthquake, Petersen’s photos create a small poem about Emilia, which sews up that deep crack and returns this land, whole, to the humanity that has always belonged here.”


Creative Director | LEO BURNETT
Executive CD & Partner | SUPERHUMANS
Head of Gbl Brand Comm. | MASERATI
International Brand Image Sr. Mgr | POMELLATO
Global Communication Manager | MOLESKINE
Head of Brand & Trading Communication | SKY
WW Omnichannel Retail Dir. | MAISON MARGIELA
Creative Director | DUDE
Media Marketing Manager | BORBONESE
Global PR Manager | PHILIPP PLEIN
Creative & Digital Director | TBWA
Executive Creative Director | PUBLICIS
Executive Creative Director | DDB
Creative Dir. | VICE Fashion & Luxury Group Italy
Communication Director | CARTIER
Co-Founder & Chief of Innovation | THE BIG NOW
Art Direction Brand Specialist | BULGARI
Communication Director | ADIDAS
Dir. of Media & Production | ETRO
Head of Advertising | ENI gas e luce
Creative Director | CUCCO
Head of Mktg & Comm. | PRIVALIA GROUP
Group Chief Marketing Officer | BARILLA
Creative Director | SARTORIA
Head of Digital, Mktg & Retail | NYX - L'ORÉAL
WW Comm. & Marketing Dir. | GILMAR
Design Curator & Journalist
Head of PR & Communication | YOOX
President | BRANDCOT
WW Visual Design Manager | BULGARI
Creative Director & Partner | M&C SAATCHI
Senior Print Designer | EMILIO PUCCI
Global Digital CD | PUBLICIS ITALY
Global Creative Director | SAATCHI & SAATCHI
External Communication Mganager | IKEA
Head of Communication | VHERNIER
Founder & Creative Director | MACSIOTTI
Board Member | ADCI
Communication Director | FAY
Creative Director
Creative Digital Project | DSQUARED2
Executive Creative Director | ARMANDO TESTA
Creative & Sr. Art Dir. | CONVERSION AGENCY
Global Head of Content & Media | DIESEL
Mktg Mgr | ICR Cosmetics & Founder LABSOLUE
Global Head of Creative Production | DIESEL
WW Image Production Sr Mgr | ETRO
Communication Lead | MICROSOFT ITALY
CEO/Creative Partner | AUGE HQ
Head of Social Media | ELISABETTA FRANCHI
Head of Mktg & Comm. | FABIANA FILIPPI
General Mgr Italy & Greece | COTY PRO. BEAUTY
Global Communication Director | HOGAN
Creative Production Director | WE ARE SOCIAL
Creative Director | DUDE
Media & Digital Comm. Mgr | ROBERTO CAVALLI
Exec. Creative Dir. | YOUNG & RUBICAM
WW Head of Digital | VERSACE
WW Head of Digital & CRM | ILLYCAFFE
Creative Director | RUINI STUDIO
Head of Strategic Innovation - SVP | PIAGGIO
Brand Manager | BEIERSDORF
Head of Communication & Digital Mktg | ASPESI
Head of Marketing & Communication | AGNONA
Head of Digital & Content EMEA | ALFA ROMEO
Digital & Content Mgr | PAULA CADEMARTORI
Chief Marketing Operations | TRUSSARDI
Sr. Brand Marketing Mgr | VF CORPORATION
Chief Global Marketing & Communication | PINKO
Creative Director | STUDIO BLANCO
Sr. Art Director | YOOX
Executive Creative Director | FCB
Advertising & Comm. Mgr | BASICNET
Global Marketing Manager | RAY-BAN
Group Creative Director | FCB
Marketing Creative Director | BOTTEGA VENETA
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Chief Digital Officer | ETRO
Image Production Manager | TOD'S
CEE Content Lead | COCA-COLA
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