Q. What was the best advice your grandfather and your father gave you?
A. In the business, the best quality [is important]. We [never] forget [this]. Our products are of the best quality in the world. Second, don’t change the mission for the size of the company. Now we have a company [that’s] very big, but we don’t compromise our quality. And in my case, we have to also do things [that are not]boring.
Q. How much more challenging is running a fashion empire now than when you first took over the family business?
A. It is more challenging but better.
Q. What are the challenges for you now that the economy is sluggish?
A. In the end, [it’s about] the movement of the product in the store. Before it was just having a fantastic design [that made the product sell], now the store needs to speak – another kind of storytelling. Customers want to have an experience in the store. Maybe you need to have a special edition for one place, or maybe you can buy bags that have been carried by icons or stars. If you don’t do anything inside a store, people will consider it too boring. There’s a story to tell in everything.
Q. What does the term ‘made in Italy’ mean to you?
A. Good taste and the roots of our cultural systems. Now it’s also with an international touch. In our story, the term ‘made in Italy’ is the centre of our communication. People love it. It’s very simple yet charming.
Q. Tod’s has been an independent company, is it something you are determined to be? How does that help you?
A. When you are independent, why not? It depends on what you want to do, it depends on if you have the energy to grow alone. The very big groups have a very serious consistency – but that is one philosophy.
Q. Will Brexit have an effect on you?
A. Nobody really saw it coming. Not much effect on us, business-wise.
Q. Will e-commerce influence your retail strategy?
A. We started two years ago with one company. Now, we finished the test, more or less. Now we learn day by day. It’s a new business. I think it’s important. For the future, I think maybe it’s possible to do 20 per cent of our business by e-commerce. We need a variable strategy. We study many new limited editions, collection products.
Q. Who inspires you?
A. My inspirations come from young guys. Like my son who’s 18 years old and gives me a lot of good ideas. Because I saw him listening to some music and I asked who that was, he gave me names and he told me that those were the most important singers in the world, and I was like not Frank Sinatra any more? Sometimes, the people consider the Italian taste a little too old. I don’t think so.