A lot of new openings in the East for one of the most prestigious Italian brands that has always relied very much on internationalization through both the opening of monobrand stores and e-commerce.
Loriblu, a leading company in the manufacture of luxury footwear, whose export covers 80% of the total turnover, continues its internationalization policy and increases its presence in Middle and Far East. The brand guided by Annarita Pilotti and Graziano Cuccù closed the first semester of 2015 with 20 million euros, showing stability in comparison to 2014, above all because it embodies the value of a 100% made in Italy manufacture, devotes constant attention to the high quality of the materials and search for the most exclusive accessory.
Annarita Pilotti, in your opinion what are the characteristics that an Italian footwear factory should have nowadays in order not to succumb to the crisis? «I don’t believe there is an ideal recipe for being always successful… Of course today it’s fundamental to rely on internationalization and on the promotion of the brand and the product in the world markets. Over 80% of the shoes manufactured today in Italy are exported and many Italian companies have been able to resist the crisis thanks to export, adopting repositioning strategies or real reorganizations. Today quality alone isn’t enough, it’s necessary to support the brand with well rounded investment policies. Made in Italy is our greatest wealth, it’s essential to capitalize on this value».
Loriblu has been a well positioned brand in Russia for many years. How do you interpret the situation of that market and what prospects are opening up? «Because of the economic sanctions and the currency problems, the last few years have certainly been very hard, and the situation is still not easy. We believe in the possibility of recovery, so much that we have recently opened two stores in Russia. We keep on having a strong presence in this market, guaranteeing our customers and partners a high-level service. Also as President of Assocalzaturifici, I urged national and international institutions to open a dialogue with Russian authorities, so to reach a common understanding that modifies the sanction system. Russia is the second country to which Italy export and this situation is bringing the entire sector to its knees».
Is China your hottest frontier at the moment? «We have already been present in China for some time, and in the last few seasons we have increased the turnover in that country. We opened our first store in Beijing (Shin Kong Place), and established our presence with our showroom in Shanghai, a space of about 100 square meters in the Putuo District. Besides we are increasing our investments on new media and e-commerce».
What’s the business achievement of the last few years you’re most proud of? «Certainly the national and international growth our brand has had in the last few years. Today our company is an authorative witness for Made in Italy all over the world, and Loriblu is a brand that is renown in many countries. We have customers and monobrand boutiques in England, France, Spain, United States, China, Russia, Middle East, our boutiques are located in the main capitals and cities of the world like Rome, Milan, Paris, London, Moscow, Dubai, Shanghai, Beijing».
How is the e-commerce channel doing in comparison with the traditional distribution? «We have been among the first to invest in e-commerce. In fact, we inaugurated our online boutique in 2009, over six years ago. Today we have customers purchasing our products from all over the world, with ever-growing numbers. Many brides too choose to buy their shoes online, a sign of trust towards our company that makes us very happy».
What are the sources of inspiration of the new collection? «A kaleidoscope of colors is at the heart of many themes that go from modern to ancient, from geometry to art nouveau, from romanticism to rock. Mesopotamia and its warm color inspire sandals and pumps, while the neon line is a step towards the colors of the new millennium; the Black & Gold express itself in the most rock line: high heels, wedges, open toe sandals that are a leap into the swinging London atmospheres; ethnic is beautiful when the big stones of various shapes are set and hand-stitched into the python shoes; the navy theme is also present: white, red and blue on sandals, pumps and sporty shoes, for an evergreen that is never prosaic. There is also space for the easiest and sporty models with soft and comfortable soles (very light)».