Home ONLINE SHOPPING FOR MEN Interview: Camicissima CEO Fabio Candido on household, custom and pioneering in instances...

Interview: Camicissima CEO Fabio Candido on household, custom and pioneering in instances of disaster – The Moodie Davitt Report

Camicissima CEO Fabio Candido says that “custom, high quality, curiosity and the Italian spirit” are the values that drive the Italian style model’s ethos

At its core, Camicissima is all about household; a enterprise constructed round a ardour for shirting that has been handed down from one era to the subsequent. The Fenicia-owned menswear model was launched by brothers Fabio and Sergio Candido in 2004 with the intention of opening 40 boutiques in Italy. At this time it has 400 factors of sale worldwide.

What’s the key to its spectacular progress through the years? Based on Camicissima CEO Fabio Candido — a third-generation chief within the household enterprise — custom, high quality, curiosity and the Italian spirit are the values that drive the enterprise at the moment.

“We can’t be something however pioneers in at the moment’s age,” he says. Regardless of the clear significance positioned on custom, Camicissima has equally embraced a pioneering angle in the case of growth, notably in journey retail.

Camicissima has benefitted from an aggressive growth technique in China and an in depth relationship with Lagardère Journey Retail. Displaying a uncommon optimism within the trade at the moment, Camicissima has even opened new journey retail and home shops throughout the COVID-19 disaster. It’s also exhibiting on the upcoming Moodie Davitt Digital Journey Retail Expo in #VirtualStand FA-G3. 

Armed with the identical pioneering spirit that impressed his grandfather, Giovanni, to start out the father or mother firm 90 years in the past, Candido says: “We’re able to face any troublesome and demanding challenges that come our approach.” On this compelling interview, he discusses how the corporate is constructing on Italian household values and discovering new methods to drive a sustained restoration and continuous progress lengthy after COVID-19.

Martin Moodie: Camicissima was based as a retail model 2004, so it’s concurrently a younger idea, however one born out of a third-generation firm Fenicia. How essential have these household roots been to driving Camicissima’s success and its philosophy?

Fabio Candido: Camicissima’s story is that of an Italian household – my household – who, in 1931, armed with a big tailoring custom and a tradition of style that has its roots in historical past, began to supply males’s shirts. It’s an almost 90-year lengthy historical past that, greater than something, tells the story of a burning ardour for the artwork of shirting. That is an unavoidable ingredient that we go down from era to era, which has allowed us to strengthen the Camicissima challenge.

How would you sum up the household philosophy – in direction of manufacturing, enterprise and other people?

Listening to shoppers, satisfying their wants and discovering the proper mixture of fashion and performance is the method behind Camicissima’s philosophy. The values that type the model’s foundations have regularly been outlined as custom, high quality, curiosity and Italian spirit. These are nonetheless the substances which nourish our methods and operations as an organization to at the present time, in addition to the work of every particular person worker.

A household affair: Camicissima was based by Fabio and Sergio Candido (pictured above) in 2004

Your grandfather was a pioneer – does that spirit nonetheless run within the household DNA?

We can’t be something however pioneers in at the moment’s age. Particularly if we wish to steer an organisation like Camicissima in direction of continuous progress in an period the place having the bravery to experiment and innovate is a prerequisite for retaining the bonds with our shoppers alive.  We should additionally embrace new developments and expertise as quickly as potential.

Internationally your growth technique has been very spectacular, partly underpinned by a powerful presence in China. Inform us about your entry into that key market in 2014, concerning the journey to this point and the place you suppose it is going to lead? You talked in 2015 of opening 440 shops there. The place are you at at the moment?

In 2014, after practically two years of detailed negotiations with our Chinese language accomplice, we reached an settlement that allowed us to enter the market, and we opened our first retailer in Shanghai.

From there, our Chinese language growth was fast and widespread. At this time, we’ve got greater than 180 shops, each retailers and stand-alone boutiques, positioned in China’s largest fundamental procuring malls and departments shops in all the largest cities.

The expertise we gained in these first few years and the arrival of latest alternatives made us re-evaluate our preliminary retail technique within the Chinese language market. We discovered that the appropriate path was to spend money on gross sales factors with larger sq. footage, which might permit us to cowl the identical gross sales space however with half the variety of retailers.

As predicted, we achieved our first preliminary goal in China. Nonetheless, the street forward remains to be lengthy and really difficult. Due to this, I predict nice developments for our Chinese language enterprise sooner or later.

On observe in China: Pictured above is the Camicissima boutique at Hongqiao Railway Station

Fenicia — Camicissima’s father or mother firm — was based by Giovanni Candido virtually 90 years in the past

You and your brother Sergio needed Camicissima to be a world model. I imagine you’ve round 150 offshore areas (franchises and flagships) at the moment? That could be a good distance from a single retailer in Milan in 2004. What’s the mid-term (say 5 years) goal and the place do rising markets (for instance Latin America) match into the plan?

The Camicissima challenge originated in 2004 with the concept of opening round 40 shops in Italy. Neither Sergio nor I ever thought we’d have practically 400  factors of sale beneath the Camicissima model all all through the world. It’s a journey that makes us very proud, however we’re not stopping there. Armed with our learnings, we’re able to face any troublesome and demanding challenges that come our approach.

We’re new alternatives, with the intention of consolidating our worldwide presence. We wish to double the variety of shops we’ve got and discover alternatives in each our established markets and rising ones with curiosity. Our established markets stay our fundamental reference level, as they present nice potential the place we are able to nonetheless purchase important market share. We provide a really common product that may fulfill the calls for of any sort of shopper in any a part of the world.

Extremely, you opened in New York on Black Friday in 2009. Remind me of your emotions on that day.

Our New York retailer represented the beginning of Camicissima’s internationalisation. Nobody would have ever wager {that a} then-unknown Italian enterprise would first arrive in America and subsequently take over the remainder of the world in only a few years.

In my very own small approach, I felt a bit like a contemporary Christopher Columbus. Alongside my brother Sergio —  who shared and nonetheless does share my imaginative and prescient and ambitions to at the present time —  we managed to arrange store in one of many fundamental procuring streets within the Large Apple: Madison Avenue and on the nook of 53th Road, nonetheless. This laid the foundations for our goals to return true.

The model just lately opened a brand new flagship boutique in an unique procuring road in Vienna, Austria. It’s considered one of a number of home retailer openings by means of the COVID-19 disaster.

Camicissima gives timeless, snug and practical menswear shirts with an Italian spirit

The place does journey retail match into your worldwide technique and the way – pre-COVID – has the market carried out for Camicissima? How hopeful are you of a fast bounce again?

Journey retail has a key position to play in Camicissima’s improvement technique. Except for reaching worldwide clientele and driving model consciousness overseas, the channel represents a chance to seed our merchandise in any given market and assess whether or not we must always open up flagship shops in these respective nations.

Camicissima’s proposal is completely aligned with the calls for of the up to date traveller who’s all the time in the hunt for sensible, snug options. For instance, our Non-Iron Zero Crease shirt, one of many model’s iconic objects of clothes, has all the time attracted the kind of males who journey for work and who stay a core goal of each our model and journey retail.

Your small business mannequin has been constructed on growing franchises all over the world with entrepreneurs. Might you inform us about your partnership with Lagardère Journey Retail? How do you select your companions and areas within the channel?

Choosing the proper accomplice is a basic requirement when looking for alternatives in journey retail. A accomplice who can act harmoniously with our model and understands our potential will be capable to outline an actual long-term path with us, which isn’t restricted to a one-shot opening.

Alongside Lagardère Journey Retail, we examined the French market with an preliminary opening in Lyon Airport again in January. This led us to open different French airport shops in Good, Marseille and Toulouse. That is the place to begin for our choice to open extra shops within the home market in France. That is precisely why Camicissima must have a devoted journey retail staff, whose goal is to discover the day-to-day occurrences on this market and launch new, fruitful partnerships geared toward growing Camicissima’s worldwide enterprise.

Early this yr, Camicissima supplied a journey promotion to consumers at French airports by means of Lagardère Journey Retail

The Camicissima nook at Geneva Airport, additionally launched in partnership with Lagardère Journey Retail, was particularly conceived for journey retail

Camicissima has carried out strongly in China journey retail, notably – and apparently – within the rail sector. China was first into the disaster and first out. How are you seeing gross sales and prospects there?

Till at the moment, China – the place we’ve got practically 180 gross sales factors with a big native accomplice – is experiencing a like-for-like with excellent outcomes (all constructive indicators), each in shops and notably on-line. Furthermore, the market was already dynamic by way of digital acquisitions even earlier than COVID-19. The very first and really encouraging inexperienced shoots are that, after the shock of coronavirus and lockdown, there’s a glimpse of a restoration.

How essential is ecommerce to Camicissima and the way a lot has this modified lately? Will the well being disaster speed up a transfer to ecommerce?

Over time, digital has grown in significance which is why we’ve launched our ecommerce platform Camicissima.com. This permits us to succeed in a brand new pool of potential prospects and enhance model consciousness.

This yr, ecommerce represented 4% of our gross sales, which is a +30% enhance from the identical interval in 2019. This pattern has been accelerated by current occasions which have significantly altered buyer’s buying behaviours. Nonetheless, for us, the in-store expertise nonetheless stays the principal methodology we interact with our prospects.

Allow us to speak about your merchandise: The simplicity of the idea is vital – dimension, three completely different suits, six packages of selection. And naturally, the give attention to high quality – of material, of end, of fashion. Inform us concerning the fusion of these components and the way it suits into your acute information of how males wish to (or don’t wish to!) store.

Not like earlier than, males’s clothes should now reply to the wants of an more and more demanding and multi-tasking man. Every buyer has his personal id and elegance that he associates with. Having the ability to present the appropriate items for his wardrobe is a necessity on this aggressive market. Consolation, consideration to element and developments have thus change into the three substances in each Camicissima product.

To be able to enchantment to a variety of clientele, our merchandise vary from the timeless Traditional shirt, the elegant Fancy shirt, the Everlasting shirt line which takes its names from cities, to the Non-Iron Zero Crease shirt, which stays completely crease-free all through the day.

You would not have salespeople you’ve gross sales consultants. Inform us concerning the distinction. How do you make sure that philosophy is maintained when working with offshore firms and, say, journey retailers?

Each merchandise from the Camicissima assortment tells a narrative. From the preliminary concept and materials choice to the ending and packaging, every ingredient represents added worth that makes the product distinctive and unique.

It could be limiting to limit ourselves with a style present, which could talk a method, minimize, color or pattern – at most. As a substitute, we wish to transfer our shoppers; an impact that solely an in depth narrative can create. This underlines the significance of working with true and correct gross sales consultants. They’re the ‘narrators’ who can improve the Camicissima expertise as quickly as a buyer walks into our retailer.

Inform us about your Store Management System. Journey retailers frequently try to maximise conversion charges – have you ever utilized the system within the channel?

We’ve patented an inner device to watch the KPIs of all our shops each day in our flagship shops, procuring centres and airport shops. This can be a basic device in understanding the behaviour of our shoppers and their evolution by means of the Camicissima procuring expertise. All the information is analysed to regularly enhance the gross sales expertise and drive model curiosity, driving footfall in our shops.

You research international developments relentlessly, after which apply your individual Italian contact. However how a lot does males’s style in shirts fluctuate all over the world? Any anecdotes you may share?

Shirts are an integral a part of our lives. Trend and developments not have boundaries. We’ve all the time made the lads’s shirt our trademark and considered one of our greatest improvements is the Non-Iron Zero Crease shirt, which stays excellent all day lengthy, from morning to night. It’s the excellent product for a person who desires to mix fashion, consolation and performance.

“We wish to transfer our shoppers; an impact that solely an in depth narrative can create. This underlines the significance of working with true and correct gross sales consultants. They’re the ‘narrators’ who can improve the Camicissima expertise as quickly as a buyer walks into our retailer.” ­— Camicissima CEO Fabio Candido

Speaking about Italian contact – how essential is that to you as a third-generation Italian firm? You say you need prospects coming into your shops to really feel as in the event that they had been in Italy.

The Italian spirit is considered one of our firm’s 4 values, together with custom, high quality and curiosity. These are values which have been strengthened by means of generations together with our ardour for the artwork of shirting. From planning to producing, Camicissima tells the story of fantastic high quality, dexterity and creativity with a strictly Italian spirit. This is identical spirit that we search to speak by means of our private relationships with shoppers all over the world.

Lastly, some private questions. Who’ve been the individuals who have most impressed you in enterprise and life, and why?

My inspiration comes from the 2 individuals who have helped me develop and who taught me the values of life and work: my grandfather and my father.

My grandfather taught me perseverance and power in pursuing my goals, making them a actuality and beating all odds. He confirmed me the true which means of the phrase ‘suppose large’.

My father is a task mannequin for me. He taught me the worth of being trustworthy and correct in all enterprise dealings. Rising up, my biggest want has all the time been to construct one thing that may make them proud. Via them, I discovered the worth of sacrifice and by no means giving up.

I all the time wish to ask this of entrepreneurs. In your enterprise life, what’s most certainly to maintain you awake at evening? And the ingredient most certainly to make you wish to leap out of the mattress within the morning?

Camicissima is a baby whose start I witnessed and whose progress I’ve adopted — yr after yr — with all of the satisfaction and apprehension that solely a father or mother can really feel for their very own little one. The query that’s with me throughout the day and makes me mirror every night is “Is there one thing that I may have improved?” I get up within the morning and pause to excellent what I began the day earlier than. Deep down, that is the method for rising daily. Deciding to beat your individual limits and establishing more and more formidable objectives for your self.

Even in the course of a race, the perfect driver is he who is aware of to cease on the proper second, make a pit cease and take off once more faster than earlier than. Secure within the information that all the things is ideal.

In the event you needed to sum up Camicissima in a single (quick) sentence, what would you say.

I imagine that the true essence of Camicissima is contained in a single easy phrase: custom.

It’s the custom and know-how of Italian shirts, which has resided in my household and firm for generations. It’s the custom of ‘Italianness’ and the sometimes Italian lifestyle. This is the reason I wish to change into, alongside my brother Sergio, an envoy of Italian residing by means of the Camicissima model.

Camicissima goes for Gold on the Moodie Davitt Digital Journey Retail Expo

Camicissima is a Gold Companion of the Moodie Davitt Digital Journey Retail Expo. #VirtualStand FA-G3. 

The distinctive 5-day ‘reside’ occasion, adopted by a 30-day showcase, begins on 12 October, simply after the conclusion of the Chinese language Golden Week holidays. It encompasses a star-studded sequence of occasions throughout the 5 days, together with a Symposium, class workshops and a brand new shopper analysis initiative.

Registration is free for consumers, exhibitors and most well-liked media companions. (Click on right here to register)



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