Fly: shoe lovers

Interview with Giorgio Lai from Fly, in order to discover the world of children’s and adult’s footwear licensing, yesterday and today.

Nov 28, 2017
Posted in: , Interviews

A company that has always kept pace with the changing times, with the ability to interpret in a dynamic way the desires of teens and tweens. Today, Fly distributes more than 2 million pairs per year, with a logistics system realised in collaboration with one of the most important and structured platforms in the port of Livorno, which capably manages imports and shipments to more than 950 customers throughout Europe, also in terms of re-stockings. With its headquarters in Silea, Treviso, Fly also develops and produces footwear collections for leading companies in the apparel industry, with sourcing done in Italy, Indonesia, China, and India.Different and of strategic importance are the brands present in its portfolio, starting with Barbie, which since 1959 has been considered the most famous Fashion Doll worldwide, as well as a timeless icon in determining  new fashion trends. Always with regards to Junior wear and trends, are the licenses of Miss Sixty for little girls, and Murphy & Nye and Fred Mello for little boys. Moving on to the world of adults, we have the young and bold style of Onyx – an Italian brand that skilfully mixes together contaminations and meetings of different cultures in collections that are always unique and original -, and the sporty-chic look for the men of U.S. Golf Club. Finally, we have Divinas Barcelona and Sweet Years for women and children, the Italian brand with a street-glam style, which was founded in 2003 by soccer icons Bobo Vieri and Paolo Maldini.

We interviewed Giorgio Lai, asking him to tell us his point of view on how the licensing sector for adults and children has changed over the years and what today’s greatest challenges are to achieving success.

  1. Fly was created in 2005 with the acquisition of a license in the world of cartoons: how has the sector of kids licenses changed since then? Over the last decade, the speed of change has become a prerogative in the world of fashion and the world of cartoon licenses has increasingly been characterized by bi-annual realities, replacing the previous 5-6 year-long partnerships. This has led companies to be increasingly attentive in their offerings and in their ability to support the constantly changing demand. There is also a return to what was done in the past, with TV show programming only slightly helping sales, without ever being transformed into a real demand by consumers. In our sector, a lack of cartoons of reference has destined these licenses to become almost exclusively low-priced products and articles only destined for the youngest children.

  2. What pushed you, at a certain point in your history, to merge children’s licensing with the world of international fashion brands, like Onyx and Sweet Years? It is exactly a lack of “market driven” licenses in the kids’ world that led us to invest in fashion and teen brands, working to create an appeal through a style that is supported by the brand and not vice versa.

  3. How has the world of licenses changed in general in recent years and what in your opinion should be the focus for the future? The invasion of products coming directly from China has created the need to use licensed brands in order to stand out from others, with a focus first and foremost on the innovation and style characterising us.

  4. How is coherence with the distinct trademarks of each brand guaranteed? Collection briefings are done in order to be as much in line as possible with the mood of the brand and also in order to create a family-feeling with other licensed products; moreover, we trust in the support of design experts to help us differentiate between the image and offer

  5. Today, what advantages do you have over the competition? Over the years, we have set up a close-knit and motivated work group made up by individuals with clear goals. A modern office is supported by the best design studios around, which are capable of satisfying any kind of stylistic request: from high-end brands, to brands for mass consumption.

  6. Which are your markets of reference? 70% is made up by Italy, with Europe and the rest of the world accounting for the remaining 20%.

  7. How important is logistics in your business and how is it managed? It is absolutely an integral part of the service. We are directly connected with logistics, in order to satisfy in 48 hours any required goods destination. Instead, as far as distribution is concerned, we have a network of 50 sites, divided according to brand, level, nation, and area.

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