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SEALUP, WORLD LEADER IN LUXURY OUTERWEAR
Uncompromising quality. This is the key to Sealup, one of the world’s leading luxury raincoat and outerwear companies.
Founded in Milan in 1935, it went from being a small family-run business, dealing exclusively in raincoats, to establishing itself during the fifties and sixties as one of Italy’s leading clothing manufacturers and its products are now much sought after by international stars.
Since the 1990s Sealup has refocused its attention on outerwear, even for the international luxury brands, and in 2013 it recorded a turnover of €7 million. Everything is strictly made in Italy, with fabric research, modelling and production carried out totally in-house. We asked CEO Filippo Chiesa about the company’s strengths and weaknesses and about its plans for expansion.
Can you tell us about Sealup's origins?
Sealup was founded in Milan by Piero and Germana Chiesa, who were grandparents to me and my sister Cristina, with whom I now run the company. Ever since its foundation in 1935 the name Sealup has always been synonymous with quality and a passion for luxury products. Items of clothing to be looked at and touched, that "exude elegance” from the moment they're worn.
What, in your view, are the company’s strong points?
Its strong point lies in it being able to combine a modern design with outright quality. In recent years, the production and the general transition have always had a constant point of reference: “to produce quality”. It's a mandate that encompasses Milanese common sense and Italian taste. That's because Sealup is 100% Italian, and not just because of its founders, but also because of its production that has always remained in Italy and in the hands of Italian workers.
How do you combine technology and innovation?
Sealup has one of the few totally integrated and wholly Italian manufacturing setups, with fabric research, modelling and production all carried totally in-house. We currently operate across two locations: our headquarters are in Lomazzo (Como), where our head office, research center, style office and historical archives are based. Our factory is located in Calusco d'Adda (Bergamo) and that is where we manufacture our products; it employs state of the art machinery and we ensure that our entire workforce is constantly trained. We consider it essential to maintain the highest standards of safety at work, eco-sustainability and levels of privacy. Our factories produce 50,000 items every year.
What are your plans for future expansion?
We have several plans in the pipeline, beginning with the digital and finishing with a further increase in the production capacity of our factory in Calusco d’Adda and a determined expansion of Sealup’s range for women.
How have you coped with the crisis?
By working that much harder and focussing on the countless opportunities that the luxury market offers on a global scale.
Do you have any plans for extending beyond Italy? If so what are they and where are they for?Our plans for extending beyond Italy include greater penetration in Northern Europe and consolidation in Japan - a market in which we have been operating for many years.