The selection, preparation of leathers, and cutting processes all occur under the attentive eyes of master artisans who shaped the history of the bag and who continue even today to carefully guard the secrets of their workmanship in a craft that has been passed down from one generation to the next: these are the first steps taken in a meticulous and precise production process, which to this day is behind each and every bag designed by Andrea Cardone, the Neapolitan brand that has made the excellence of Made in Italy its very own international calling card since 2006. We met up with owner, Andrea Cardone, to learn more about the new winter collection presented at Expo Riva Schuh – Garda Bags this past January and about the brand’s future projects.
Can you tell us about the new collection presented in a preview at Riva del Garda…
Our new winter collection is characterised by an extremely minimal and simplistic style, which however is also attentive and impeccable in its accessories and details. For the coming season, the animalier mood continues with prints and lots of pony hair, which are matched with simple lines. There are then medium-to-large volume bags in the collection – sought out by markets like the United States – while more moderate volumes with meticulous details, representing our stylistic calling card, are aimed at more selective clientele in markets like Japan and the Orient in general.
Today, what are the emerging countries that represent the biggest threat to Made in Italy products?
China and India are the countries that offer the fiercest competition to the Italian product, thanks to their pricing policies, even if in my opinion Made in Italy is unrivalled for its quality/price ratio.
How has the problem of rising prices for raw materials influenced your business?
One of the problems we encountered this year is without a doubt the increase in the price of raw materials, which I believe is unjustified and fruit above all of pure speculation, and this has forced us to increase our price list by 15-20%.
In a moment as difficult as this one, what is requested the most by buyers both in terms of product and service?
Buyers are disoriented when facing this pandemic, which even if it seemed we had put it behind us, is still unfortunately influencing our lives. In this situation of great uncertainty, it is difficult for any of us to have a long-term future outlook and it becomes more essential than ever before to show ourselves flexible and ready to adapt, in an extremely short amount of time, to the needs and demands of the customer, while doing away with the approached based on rigid programming. We must be ‘ready’ for when the market is ready to restart with the ability to quickly reply to its demands.
What challenges does the future hold?
The pandemic taught us that it is essential, now more than ever before, to present our new product proposals also online, and in fact, we have developed virtual catalogues and showrooms, even if in my opinion it is still of fundamental and irreplaceable importance to participate in sector fairs, where it is possible to make direct and live contact with buyers and visitors.