Marcolin is among the leading companies in the eyewear industry and stands out for the pursuit of excellence, the continuous innovation and the unique ability to faithfully combine Italian craftsmanship – characterized by creativity, style, quality and detail – with the DNA of each brand.
Marcolin produces and distributes sunglasses and eyeglasses with brands that are among the leaders in their segment, realizing with care and in a unique way products which reflect the identity of each brand. The company practices a craftsmanship model aimed to increase and communicate coherence and confidence to all stakeholders.
In December 2013 Marcolin, backed by PAI Partners, finalized the acquisition of VIVA International, the second player in the US eyewear sector.
Currently the company portfolio of brands includes: Tom Ford, Balenciaga, Ermenegildo Zegna, Agnona, Montblanc, Roberto Cavalli, Tod’s, Swarovski, DSquared2, Diesel, 55DSL, Just Cavalli, Cover Girl, Kenneth Cole New York, Kenneth Cole Reaction, Timberland,GUESS, GANT, Harley-Davidson®, Marciano, Catherine Deneuve, SKECHERS, BONGO®, CANDIE’S®, RAMPAGE®, Viva, Magic Clip®, Savvy, Marcolin, National and Web.
Accessories caught up with Fabrizio Gamberini, CEO and GM for Marcolin USA (Americas) to discuss the company’s past, present and future.
How long have you been with the company? 6 years
What is a typical day like for you? Wake up call at 5:15 a.m., then gym/run to wake up senses and mind. At 6 a.m., coffee generally with sales reports and I start planning the day, looking at priorities to be accomplished. I start with emails with HQ in Italy, and following up with local team across the USA. By 7:30 a.m. I am ready for the day…..
What is your favorite part of this industry? I love developing brands, that is my school. I love the way they develop their essence and what adds equity to a brand. The glamour and the energy of the brands are always appealing to me. And I love the fact that, in this industry, you can really make a difference just adding some authenticity in your job. This is an industry that needs some leapfrog steps and we want to contribute to that, adding authenticity to a “static way of doing things”.
What have been some of the biggest challenges in the market lately? Do we want to talk about weather…? This has been the worst winter ever (and still we made our numbers). The market overall is good but people have the tendency to operate too often in a routing mode. Educating people to open up to new things and new ideas is critical.
What are the newest and exciting changes in the marketplace lately? The digital world is almost past. We need to find new ways. There are many new avenues that are taking over. But what still counts, is how you go to market, how you instill inspiration in the consumers, how you work in your retail presentation, how you set up a good product presentation. The consumer needs to feel, see, smell, touch new product in the market.
How do you use social media and how has it helped your brand? Our customers always look for the latest information about our products and our business in general, also on the most important social media. This is the reason why it’s very important to be there, so we use Facebook (our main social), Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. Each media acts in different ways: with Facebook we increase brand awareness and we keep our customers updated about our latest activities, Twitter is more suitable for interacting with users, Instagram to delight the followers with the best shots of our products, while LinkedIn is used in a very strictly corporate way to share info relevant to professionals. In the future, we may end up further differentiating the usage of the different platforms so that we can communicate also new arrivals and special capsule products.
Does your company have any important milestones coming up? We are going to a series of Milestones. We acquired Viva International, a large USA corporation in the eyewear industry, only 5 months ago and every single day is a milestones for something new that we are implementing in the Integration of the two companies. We started with adjustments in the leadership team (people first), reviewed the way we go to market (brands) and focused on growth; redesigned the marketing team, the retail organization, the new product development organization and very recently we integrated the optical channel sales organization. The way we go to market now is already different as a new, combined company. With such a wide range of brands we are in a position to serve many different customers. Next steps are the transition to SAP, the new integrated planning system, more brands to be added…..every day is a new milestone for us….
Are you launching anything new for Fall/Holiday 2014?During the Summer and Early Fall, we introduce to the 200 most important, strategic customers, across the USA, Canada and Latam our full SUN Fall/Winter/Spring collections. We show the entire product flow, divided by month. It is a great way to show our customers where the Brands are going, what are the most important Brand’s trend and what will be hot in few months from now. Also….we are renewing our current portfolio and we are going to a rationalization of the Brand portfolio, creating a focused segmentation and adding new Brands every year. Zegna is the last one and more to come.
In terms of styling, what are you focusing on for the Fall/Holiday season? We do often focus groups with our most important Customers. Last one was in NY, late Fall. We get confirmation of Trends, special features we want to introduce, colors too. We discuss with them about everything. Among them, Nordstrom, Saks, Neiman, Bloomingdales and many other big players in the market, inclusive of special trendy opticians too. Outside of Aviator, cat eye, we love double lenses effect, glam metals and the great combination of metal/acetate. Some of the frames we produced for Balenciaga, Roberto Cavalli or Tom Ford are amazingly unique in that sense. And, more important, they stand out. Some of the features you see in Guess, Gant are unique, for the price point we offer too.
Which designers/runway fashion shows have been most influential for you in terms of planning your Fall/Holiday line? We monitor (and take inspiration from) all the most important fashion shows in New York, London, Milan and Paris, but also the upcoming fashion weeks that are taking place in the emerging Countries because when a fashion mood is globally shared it’ll become a trend. Some designers are really trendsetters, more influential than others, able to set the “fashion rules” for the next season and we’re very proud to have in our brands’ portfolio them: Kenneth Cole in New York, Balenciaga in Paris, Tom Ford in London, Diesel, Dsquared2, Just Cavalli, Roberto Cavalli and Tod’s in Milan. Our product development team work very close with the creative director and creative team of each maison and license in order to realize eyewear collections that represent exactly the DNA, the values, allure and the feature of every brand.
Are there any celebrities, bloggers, movies, TV, music festivals, etc., that are driving trends for you lately? Today potential trends could come from different fields and sides: celebrities, bloggers, music…or simply from the street. For example, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival that features many genres of music, including rock, indie, hip hop and electronic dance music is taking place becoming a real cool and trendy event with the participation of several international celebrities; in fact, we were present at the latest edition wearing VIPS with our sunglasses to get visibility. This is only one example, but for a company in the field of fashion is really crucial being able to anticipate the trends taking inspirations from everything surrounds it.
Anything else you would like to add? This is an amazing and very intensive job. The results have been very good (and proudly I can say since few years). But there is no day, in which I do not thank the teams that are part of the new Marcolin USA. It is easy to get lost along the wave of good results, and forget that results are made of good, committed, focused people. And good …how can i forget,…..good Brands!
Marcolin was featured in Accessories magazine’s June issue: A look at who and what is hot now–in product, brands, stores, pop culture, business, social media, e-commerce, apps, runway trends, technology, start-ups, museum exhibits and much, much more!
To read the page, click here.