Founder taps roots to keep Piquadro in touch with iPad app

PUBLISHED : Monday, 31 October, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 31 October, 2011, 12:00am


Although discerning buyers appreciate in person the craftsmanship of veteran artisans, sometimes it pays to be able to shop with the touch of your fingers.

Italian travel and business luggage brand Piquadro is keeping apace with the latest tablet gadget boom with the launch of an iPad app. It allows customers worldwide to place customised orders of leather goodies from briefcases to journals.

The app launch coincided with its Hong Kong flagship store opening on Queen's Road last Thursday. The brand's chief executive Marco Palmieri flew in from Europe for the occasion. Model Kathy Chow Man-kei and actor Louis Koo Tin-lok joined him for the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

And the app launch should be no surprise because Palmieri actually comes from a computer science background. He started the brand after designing a software programme that monitored the leather product manufacturing.

'It's true that I'm self-taught in design, but I've been a keen user of designer bags. I know what people like me are looking for,' he said.

The adventurous and fun-loving Palmieri - an avid skiing fan and foosball expert - decided to give it a shot in the fashion industry. When business took off, he sold his I.T. company in the late '90s.

Now, he has his eyes fixed on the China market.

'I feel the Chinese market now is very polarised. There are plenty of extremely rich and poor, not much of the middle-class consumers who are sophisticated for the good quality designer brands,' he said. 'But the potential is remarkable.'