The future looks bright to Furla, which is unveiling a colorful ad campaign for spring.The Bologna-based accessories brand moved from the streets of Italian cities, which served as the set for its most recent campaigns — shot by Mario Testino, among others — to a more back-to-basics approach.Bold orange and blue backdrops dominate the studio shots that showcase Furla's women's and men's collections, respectively. Combining single models and still life images, the campaign was photographed in New York by Gregory Harris, under the artistic direction of Fabien Baron."We have found in Fabien the perfect partner to communicate our company's philosophy, spirit and target," said Furla's creative director Fabio Fusi, adding that the collaboration will continue for the rest of the year.Fusi highlighted how the simpler layout better conveys the modern appeal of the collection and helps focus on the graphic and colorful details of the styles.For women, these include the Dafne backpack in brown grained calf leather; the Vittoria drawstring bag, available in white or brown leather with eyelets or jute rope detailing, respectively; the Lucky tote in a python print, and a line of Furla's signature Metropolis mini cross-body bags offered in tropical, tribal and animal patterns. Suede ballerinas and espadrilles with laces also appear, along with silk scarves styled around model Mali Koopman's wrist to spotlight the house's watch collection.The men's ads feature traveling essentials in black, navy, brown and beige leather, such as backpacks, briefcases and document holders. Bear-shaped little charms are added to customize and provide a twist to the sleek offerings, representing the playful approach that is more and more drawing the attention of Millennials toward the brand.Targeting the company's main audience, which is aged between 20 and 35, the images began appearing in international fashion titles in January. They were also shared on Furla's social media channels to increase customer engagement.Over the last two years, a series of marketing activities have been implemented to expand the brand's reach in the digital world. These include the #FurlaModernMen project launched in collaboration with The Sartorialist's Scott Schuman during Pitti Uomo last January. Three short movies were realized to follow the popular blogger and street style photographer's visit to Furla's headquarters in Milan and factory in Florence. In addition, Schuman photographed the men's fall collection during a street style shoot in Bologna.His efforts were displayed and celebrated with an event at Florence's Palazzo Budini Gattai during Pitti, while a flash mob performance featuring skaters, runners and parkour athletes sporting the brand's accessories animated the city's streets.All this content was posted on the brand's Facebook and Instagram accounts. The latter plays an important role because of its live sharing element, which was recently exploited by Furla through the implementation of instant videos. Next up: A Snapchat channel will debut during Milan Fashion Week with an appearance on it by German model Stefanie Giesinger.To further increase its consumer ties, a customer relationship management platform was implemented last July. The program enabled Furla to enhance and track its customers' reactions to the brand, as the successful debut during the last Black Friday showed. "Around 80 percent of the clients who purchased Furla the following week were engaged in this way," said general director Alberto Camerlengo. "It requires considerable investments both in economic and human resources, but I think this is the future."E-commerce is yet another asset in terms of engagement, according to Camerlengo. "Our web site represents the first approach to the brand for a customer, which leads to a purchase in the store," he said.Camerlengo explained that e-commerce has an engaging role beyond simply driving sales, especially since Furla's products are available on many other web sites, including those of major department stores worldwide. For this reason, the company is working to keep its digital platform always "alive, with brand-new content," he said.Camerlengo stressed that the company is committed to developing an omnichannel approach, strengthening the interaction between physical doors and its online store. "As for now, our digital platform doesn't allow this," he explained. "We have a physical limit but it's something we're investing in and strongly believe in."Our customer must feel free to get what she or he wants in the closest [the] easiest way [possible] and we need to help with this," he concluded.While Camerlengo emphasized the importance of digital, Furla's president Giovanna Furlanetto reiterated how such a proactive approach is essential in physical stores as well. Constant attention to the design of new products, store windows and visual elements contribute to fuel the brand, maintain its energy and avoid turning stores into "mere urban furniture," she said.
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