Made in Italy is made of family success stories. At the last edition of Fashion’s CEO Roundtable Kiton, Missoni, Veepee and Global-E discussed "Thinking big now”.

Opening the discussion was the testimony of Antonio De Matteis, president of Kiton, who recently took office at the top of Pitti Immagine. "Family is a strength and in fact we have reached the third generation," he began, "to whom we want to leave a well-structured business. Hence, the idea of studying the stock market, but taking our time."

Treasuring the teachings of founder Ciro Paone, who passed away at the age of 88 in 2021, Antonio De Matteis (whom all employees confidentially call Totò) has applied to Kiton the rule of “The best of the best +1”, that is, always doing the best and always doing more, and, in pandemic times but not only, that of “Day by day, step by step, door to door”.

"In practice to a product that I believe is unique in the world we associate a way of being that is uniquely ours: we follow customers closely and, in the case of the final ones, we visit them at home by organizing events under the banner of true Italian-ness and Neapolitan-ness. Many come to visit us at our headquarters, interested in seeing how the collections are created, the working procedures, the environments in which Kiton models come to life, explained De Matteis.

"The customer knows us inside out and advises us, about the product and the service in the stores. Our consumers don’t buy out of need, but because they believe in us and therefore should always be listened to,” he continued.

Picking up on the signals from the market, Kiton, which in the two-year post-pandemic period grew by 60% to over €160 million in revenues, is also definitely increasing its share of womenswear (now at 20%) and a concept of formal no longer associated with the idea of a work uniform, especially among young people. 

As for markets, the brand had to unleash like many others a new agility, shifting investments on the international chessboard from crisis areas such as from Russia and Ukraine to expanding ones, including the US and the Emirates.

Missoni, also on stage, talked about its vision, especially now that the company is 41.2% controlled by Fsi-Fondo Strategico Italiano since 2018 and managed by Livio Proli who became CEO in 2020, after a long experience at Giorgio Armani.

"The starting point was the strength of a family of entrepreneurs who created true works of art," Proli said. "It was necessary to bring Missoni back to a new light of modernity, based on its long path and aesthetic codes linked to the Italian spirit. All while respecting the brand. Today I, who am 57 years old, am a bit of a dinosaur in a company where on average the managers are 40 years old. We have changed 'top down' decision-making patterns, conveying to every employee, not just the top management, that everyone can and must make decisions, have critical sense and responsibility,” Proli explained. 

"We came out of Covid very well, and we can say that now Missoni is a reality that gives beauty, things done very well but also a good dose of fashion fun. It is an alchemy appreciated by markets that, apart from the critical issues we know, offer concrete opportunities for growth,” he added.

Veepee can also be considered a historical player. It was founded more than 20 years ago, with the winning intuition of focusing on online fashion flash sales, which has led to a billion products sold so far and 66 million subscribers worldwide. 

“Today many things have changed, and for Veepee flash sales have become just a part of a whole, in the context of a general upgrading of the offer and a diversification of proposals, from fashion to other lifestyle product categories, embracing resale as well,” explained country manager Valentina Corbetta.

"We are digital partners of brands. We work with a lot of companies and this allows us to pinpoint precisely what they are looking for. We listen to them in depth and write a four-handed strategy with them, based on an approach that I would call consultative depending on targets, target nations and other factors,” she continued.

“We have launched made-to-measure sales on demand. Let's not forget that the wealth of data we provide is useful for brands to channel potential customers to their distribution channels, both physical and digital. As for the consumer, he is looking for labels that make a difference and knows that he can find them with us,” she added.

Joeri Groenewoud, vice president of sales EMEA, Global-E, a leading global platform with headquarters in London and 20 locations worldwide. His job is to manage and accelerate global, cross-border and direct-to-consumer e-commerce. Partnering with hundreds of brands across Europe, the U.S., and Asia, including Adidas, Disney, Marks & Spencer, Versace, Hugo Boss, Marc Jacobs, Skims, Netflix, Harvey Nichols, Etam, Pepe Jeans, and Iconic London. "Global-e makes international selling as easy as domestic selling," Groenewoud clarified.

Global-E's strength is tackling the global market with the advantages of localization: merchants can increase conversion rates through the ability to offer customers in more than 200 destinations around the planet a shopping experience on their sites, customized according to their target zones. 

Global-E's platform provides checkout pages in 30 languages, pricing in more than 100 currencies, more than 150 payment methods and other benefits. It is also committed to protecting against fraud, knowing the rules and restrictions of different countries, knowing how to handle currency fluctuations and possible duties.

"Empower brands is our motto. Capturing the opportunities that open up and, if necessary, knowing how to change the focus of one's business,” Groenewoud said.

“Never has this ability been more strategic than now, because with Russia frozen and other critical issues internationally, the scenario has shifted: alongside traditional destinations, others are opening up, such as Mexico, which is growing. The important thing is not to stand still and explore new markets with high potential without exposing ourselves to risk,” he added.

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