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THE CLOTHING TRADITION: TOMBOLINI CONCENTRATES MORE AND MORE ON INTERNATIONAL MARKETS
Every day for over forty years in Urbisaglia, a small town in the Marche region, the Tombolini company has been reaffirming the tradition of high quality Italian-made clothing. The ingredients are basically sartorial taste, striving to make the most of the expertise that abounds in the territory, and an ever-watchful eye on the prospects offered by internationalization.
These are the principles that inspired Eugenio Tombolini in the 50s, when he opened a shop selling hand-tailored men’s suits. And they are the same values that now motivate his daughter, Fiorella Tombolini, who answered a few questions for us.
From a small tailor’s shop to Pitti Uomo fashion parades. How important has exportation been to the growth process of your company?
Exporting has always been one of the most important challenges for Tombolini. This was understood by my father, who was one of the pioneers of the “assault” on the American market with Italian-made men’s clothing, and this viewpoint is still valid today, twenty years after his death. True, some things have changed: we now have agents and offices in most leading European capitals and, together with the Canadian market, the US market is by now a consolidated reality.
What new markets are you most interested in?
We are very interested in South America, in particular Brazil and Argentina. In Buenos Aires, for example, we already have a showroom and there are good growth prospects for the future, in spite of a certain political instability that also puts consumer confidence at risk in this part of the world.
As far as the continent of Europe is concerned, the same is happening with Russia. In this case, we have established a partnership with other high quality brands, but as with South America, we are worried about the fragility of the political system.
What challenges will the Tombolini Group face next?
In the midst of the global economic crisis, the main challenge is to resist and to work towards competing on every level with the world’s other fashion houses. Above all, Tombolini insists on the enhancement of the brand, because the most important message that we want to communicate abroad is Italian good living, consisting of excellent manufactured goods, but also classic Italian taste.
For the future, we are thinking about producing specific “country plans” with dedicated collections and targeted distribution, because we believe that every reality we face from a commercial point of view has a different approach that is based on varying tastes. We have also elaborated a communication plan, which is directed almost exclusively towards the points of sale.
In general, the Italian fashion system needs to be supported in the exportation field; hence the role of ICE (the Italian Institute for Foreign Trade) in this sphere is of fundamental importance.
How important are women’s collections in your company?
In the women’s fashion division, which was launched in 2002, we have introduced the same level of meticulousness and quality that we apply in men’s fashion, especially as regards the choice of materials. We focus on businesswomen and favour classic-style suits.