Design

Fashion

Thriving threads— Global

Preface

The various strands of the fashion industry spent the past year pulling themselves together after a tough 2009. Monocle speaks to the brands that are now planning to spread their wings in 2011.

Fashion, Mario Giarotto, Slowear, industry

Last year was seen as one of recovery by the clothing and textile industries. Following a dire 2009, Italy’s fashion business saw a 6.8 per cent increase in revenues by the start of the autumn/winter 2010 season. And importantly, bricks-and-mortar retail also began to get back on its feet. Some bigger chains may have left our high streets but space has been carved out for independent brands to gain footholds – with predicted sales of around €75m this year, Slowear is set to open 30 stand-alone shops over the next three years.

While e-commerce is…

Q&A - Mario Giarotto

CEO Slowear
Venice

Slowear is expanding both its brands and its retail. Why do you think the company has been successful during a time when others in the market were hit badly?
The international crisis has created a new approach in consumption. Consumers today are looking for quality and value for money, and can recognise what this means now. Slowear matches this need perfectly. Our brands – Incotex, Zanone, Glanshirt and Montedoro – promise quality products that are modern and durable because they are planned and designed with the aim of surviving fleeting trends and quick consumerism. Consumers choose our products because they come with a guarantee that it will last over time, and this is what people are looking for today. Additionally, in the last months we did not cut any budgets on product and style, but instead invested more in order to attract staff from all over the world. The recipe that has allowed our group to grow 30 per cent over the last season is that the consumer is our focus of attention, so we make innovative products that have high recognisable quality and offer value for money.

What are the company’s plans for this year?
In 2011 we are continuing with developing our four distinct brands, as well as considering them as a whole: Incotex [trousers], Zanone [knitwear], Glanshirt and Montedoro [jackets and outerwear]. We are focused on our retail expansion. In September 2010 we opened our second store in Milan, as well as a franchise outpost in Treviso. This year, we plan to open three of our own new stores in European capitals and are evaluating various franchising requests. The plan is to open 30 stores – both direct and franchised – in the next three years, hitting the international capitals.

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