Lorena Antoniazzi Fashion Brand: The Excellence of an Italian Family Business
What is the secret behind a fashion company that goes from selling only forty knitwear items in Germany, to distributing high-end fashion in twenty-five countries all over the world?
Luca Mirabassi was invited to JCU on Tuesday, February 19, for Prof. Salvatore’s course “Retailing Applied to Fashion Industry” and shared his experience as CEO of the 100% made-in-Italy fashion brand Lorena Antoniazzi. The fashion house was founded in Perugia in 1993, by Mirabassi and his wife, Lorena Antoniazzi, who had previously worked as knitwear designer at Armani.
Starting this new business was not easy: Mirabassi and Antoniazzi’s first collection was made of forty knitwear items only. They went to Germany for a few days, sold them all, and bought material to manufacture more items back in Italy. They worked hard, and eventually succeeded in making their family business grow and expand into the international market. Currently, Lorena Antoniazzi is sold in more than twenty countries abroad, especially Russia, Japan, Korea, Belarus, and Ukraine. As Mirabassi explained, the reason they focused on Asia is that it is an emergent market, which needs to grow with new ideas.
Lorena Antoniazzi’s strategy is based on hybrid distribution: it sells in multi-branded shops, franchising and flagship stores. The brand recently opened its first two flagship stores in Milan and Paris. In these two cities and in Dusseldorf, Lorena Antoniazzi has three showrooms, which are crucial meeting locations for retailers from all over the word.
The brand’s philosophy is to have a personal and direct contact with clients, both when dealing with retailers and customers. For this reason, the company has decided not to sell online yet. In fact, Mirabassi explained that the contemporary online market is saturated with an enormous amount of items. Lorena Antoniazzi products are not fast fashion and need to be “experienced” by costumers, in order to appreciate their manufacturing and textures.
The aim of Lorena Antoniazzi now is to build a stronger brand identity, which needs to be contemporary and, at the same time, timeless. For this reason, Lorena Antoniazzi’s team includes young professionals who help Mirabassi and his wife stay up-to-date and make their products recognizable. As Mirabassi said, “I strongly believe in the power of young generations, as I believe I can learn much more from them than they can actually learn from me. Their point of view is fundamental because we want to make collections that represent contemporary women and be recognized for a certain style.”