latest evolutions

Author: Joan Grady

Interview of the Month
December 09, 2019

Angelo Trocchia, CEO Safilo

The Italian company on building international ventures and evolving new strategies.

With its long history in eyewear that spans the globe, the Safilo Group embraces the 21st century with continued expansion and exciting collaborations.
Angelo Trocchia, CEO at Safilo, discusses the latest evolutions at this innovative Italian company.

Q: Safilo recently announced a joint venture in South Korea with Parma International. How do you foresee South Korea’s emerging fashion presence and Safilo’s skilful marketing evolving throughout the country?

A: We set up the joint venture with Parma International, an experienced South Korean player with great knowledge of the local wholesale and retail market, with the objective to favour the development of new distribution channels in the market.
South Korea holds strategic importance for Safilo at a global level, both for its domestic market and for its role as a trendsetter in design for the whole world. South Korea is not only a cool, hip place in terms of fashion, pop culture and music, but increasingly its market scene is a hotspot for international emerging designers and streetwear labels. As in other parts of the world, the taste for luxury is slowly changing, with an increasing demand for alternatives to mainstream fashion houses.

Q: What characteristics does Safilo look for in researching possible cooperative ventures like South Korea, or adding an influential fashion brand to your portfolio?

A: We are making constant investments with the aim of strengthening and accelerating our diversified growth across markets and consumer segments. We are looking for new developments in markets and brands that hold further promise for growth.
Safilo offers a world-class portfolio of over 30 leading eyewear brands spanning all consumer segments, both in frames and sunglasses, with different pricing and brand positioning. This is key to drive long-term value and success. When approaching new brands, we always keep in mind our existing portfolio and the capacity of the different brands to complement each other avoiding any overlap. Each brand within our portfolio has a distinctive and unique positioning, and we try to reflect the brand DNA, granting consistency in terms of style, design, and quality.

Q: Please tell us about the impressive collaboration with David Beckham.

A: We are particularly proud of this new collaboration with David Beckham, which results in his first-ever eyewear line designed, produced and distributed by Safilo and set to launch in January 2020. This ten-year license agreement will allow for the creation of a top, global male brand in the premium segment, working in synergy with the extraordinary power of David’s global audiences. David Beckham’s debut collection of sunglasses and prescription glasses evokes feelings of a past era, while remaining resolutely contemporary. It is a perfect mix of timeless allure, stylish and refined British tailoring.

\\ Collectors Edition Carrera X Sneakerness

Q: The distinctive Collectors Edition of Carrera X Sneakerness is an iconic tribute to sport, style and eyewear. How did this creative concept unfold eyewear and sneakers?

A: This one was a great collaboration where Carrera dropped a limited edition of one of its coolest streetwear styles for sneaker culture enthusiasts. Indeed, unexpected collaborations answer the need for continual newness, and provide a dose of cool to the brand across a more diverse audience. Collaborations can help the brand in exploring new territories as well as addressing new audiences, Millennials and Gen Z in particular.

Q: Politically, economically, socially and financially, international markets are experiencing revolution and turmoil. Does this affect how and where Safilo strategies may unfold for future collaborations?

A: The eyewear industry is a healthy sector with promising growth potential: the global eyewear market is an attractive industry worth approximately €18bn in 2018 and is one of the most dynamic sectors of style today, as good sunglasses and spectacles have become a wardrobe essential, rather than simply a fashion accessory or an optical necessity. Safilo is the alternative in a market that is asking for choice and a strong proposition more in line with the opticians’ day-by-day needs, offering a powerful portfolio and a consistent range of brand/ product/service, a powerful asset to offer to our customers.

Q: Technology has overwhelmingly transformed business and how people work. How has Safilo navigated digital programming and developments throughout these constant changes?  

A: The digital transformation is everywhere now, and it holds such disruptive power that it has also impacted the dynamics of our industry dramatically. It changes everything about how products are designed, manufactured, sold, delivered, and serviced – and it leads us to rethink how we execute, with new business processes, management practices, and information systems, as well as our customer relationships and service. We have embraced digital transformation to shape our strategy aimed at giving additional growth opportunities to our business, also supporting our digital platforms and tools to better serve our brick and mortar customers, and meet their needs of a more complete and faster service.

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