What are the next big steps for the brand in 2011?
We are an old company because we were born 21 years ago in Italy and start with the german market right now. The German market is the biggest in Europe and it has the best economy and we have a lot of German tourists in Italy that buy our handbags. We have to find a way to enter. We have different opportunities. One, for example is, we check and we know. One channel to approach the customer are commercials.
It‘s a channel of distribution which is growing very fast. The european markets are growing very fast and this is a great opportunity to get in contact with our customers. Whereas if you go to the store it is a much longer process. But of course it is also a process that we like to address At the same time we are looking at all the channels of distribution: It‘s e-commerce, it‘s home sale and departement store basements. We are studying the market now for six months and we are trying to prepare a formula for the market. We have many opportunities because it is very big. But we have to consider how big ist the basic line for the company. We have to concentrate to the permanent things of Alviero Martini.
What‘s your approach? As you said, you were developing certain formula for this market. What‘s different in Germany? When you look at the collection where would you say „uhm that‘s not for Germany“? What are the basic differences compared to your home market Italy
I think it has more to do with the history of the brand. Because I think the same product can be right for the global market. Today there is not really a German product or an Italian product or an American product. I think it has much more to do with the history of distribution in the market. Where Italy already had of course a big presence of the ? , we have a strong identity which is the map of course, the worldmap. And when it has been introduced in to the market, after a few seasons of course, then you have the necessity to develop innovation on this. Here we are still talking about the first product. So we would like to present the authentic product of Alviero Martini and then it starts to innovate and then we have to recover very fast, as we did in Italy. But here we have to talk about the real identity of the brand. And that is the bag of course. We would like to concentrate on those values and then trying to work more. And then you can maybe say that there is a local difference, like beach products in Italy. The summer collection is the easiest to approach the customers and I think with what made in Italy and the Italian lifestyle is known for, I think with a nice way of working, with the beautiful leather combinations, I think it is not so difficult to understand what we would like to do.
So you are not planing on developing a product line with the German map or something?
I don‘t know. If a consumer of Berlin would like to have Berlin on his bag…Has it ever been requested?
Andere Frau: Yes. In the Middle East. They wanted a piece of the map and it was a special edition. We had a Roma map bag. We participate to the „Tribute to Bambi“. This is the second time that we participate as a sponser with a special edition of the bag.
I think it‘s a good thing.
How is the percentage of your sales between the men and the women collection?
A lot of pieces in the men collection are unisex. Because for the office and so on. In Japan it is more or less the same. 20-80.
Are there any plans to make the mens collection bigger?
Yes. We are developing the business items and bags.
Will the map always be as symbolic as it is right now? Especially for the business bags?
The map is funny because wehen the people. When we talk to the countries they only want map bags. But we have some different colours and we use them mainly for the mens collection, but there is still a map on there.
I like it and it‘s what the brand stands for. What is the key demographic in Germany? What do you think will be your customer base like the ages? The younger generation, if this becomes a cult item they don‘t care and they probably want this. But if we are talking about a larger scale sale the German mens will still be very conservative and they probably would be choose this.
I can confirm this and the men love to buy the black line and with other lines we have some difficulties to expect, because it is visible. Everything is always good, wehen it‘s dark or black. Boss has learned that. We have some problem with this, but that is why we have to communicate. This was a discussion which we both didn‘t had to do when we started to work with each other, because we both agreed, that if we don‘t make it like this, it is not right. And if the market will me x million or less million and if we have to get something through, it has to be the map. We wanted to put the classical map to the front and then the other stuff. I think it‘s a phase, we have to show, that the cool people will wear this bag. We don‘t have an aggressive strategy because it doesn‘t make sense. The consumer has to be ready. We would like to work on in before. These are young consumers. We can immediately talk to them and contact them. What do you think of this? Do you like chocolate?..
Was there ever a time when you thought the map thing is maybe to nostalgic and not modern enough?
It‘s more than nostalgic, it‘s antique.
Have there ever been fears?
No doubts. This map is our treasure and we check in different countries the emotion that the map develops in the customer and it is unbelivable. You are dreaming in front of the map. One of the men discovered the world. To travel was another adventure, you had to take the train….Dreams….You are carrying a piece of the road.
When are the maps dated?
This map is not so old. It‘s after Christopher Columbus. 1500…The colour is the same. You recognize the old movies or the Christopher Columbus… And it‘s our success. Alviero Martini and prima classe. If you are in front of the Louis Vuitton, it‘s a status and not the traveller. The map is the map of the treasure. It is exciting. We have to think that we are in the platinum list because we have 100000 likers on facebook. But 30.000 were spontanious. First class leather. And we sponsor in Italy a travel program about 6 girls who travel around the world. It‘s a TV show like survivors. Many girls want to be a part of it and travel and discover the world.
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