Salvatore Ferragamo’s revamp of Hong Kong flagship store a vote of confidence in city and China luxury markets
The recent extensive refurbishment of its 7,320 sq ft Canton Road store is a new design concept that later will be rolled out around the world. Five family members attended the launch that they say affirms the importance of the city
In a rare occurrence last week, the five surviving children of Salvatore Ferragamo, based in various parts of the world, were in Hong Kong for the official reopening of the Canton Road flagship store of the brand founded by their father.
Ferruccio Ferragamo, 72, the chairman of the family business, says the gathering of his siblings and some of their children speaks volumes about the importance of Hong Kong as a market for the brand, and the reopening comes at a crucial time in the company’s history. “It very rarely happens that we are all in the same place,” says Ferragamo. “It’s a particular moment for the company, we’re doing a reorganisation, we have a new CEO, a new concept and a new team.”
One of the big names in Italian fashion, Salvatore Ferragamo has been undergoing a structural makeover in recent years, with ex-Furla chief Eraldo Poletto becoming CEO in August last year and a shake-up in its design team. Creative director duties went to British designer Paul Andrew, after a brief experiment with three designers. Ferruccio says the company is more decentralised, and basic things like meetings happen virtually to allow executives to remain in their markets.
Salvatore Ferragamo was one of the earliest luxury brands to enter China, opening a store in Shanghai in 1993, at a time Ferruccio says the city was all “bicycles and people wearing blue and grey clothes”. China and Hong Kong remain incredibly important to the brand hence the huge investment in its retail operation in the region. The refurbishment of the two-storey, 7,320 sq ft, Canton Road boutique as well as a new shop in the IFC Mall are signs of a new retail direction at Salvatore Ferragamo; the new boutique concept will be rolled out around the world.
“Detail is in everything,” says James Ferragamo, 46, Ferruccio’s son and director of leather products at the company, of the Canton Road store. James, a 20-year veteran of the company, points to features such as the LED panels and huge interactive video screens as evidence that the brand is embracing the future.
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“If you don’t change with the market, or stay ahead of the market, then you fall behind,” says James. His father adds that he’s bullish about the company’s prospects. “I can see the potential of the new teams, they have accomplished a lot in a short time. I’m very interested to see the market reaction but it’s very promising.”