MILAN — Fabiana Filippi is “entering a new era,” in the words of co-chief executive officer Mario Filippi Coccetta.
The next steps will see the Italian fashion brand focusing on the U.S. and Chinese markets in the next three years, with the opening of branches in those regions; a new store concept developed by architect Patricia Urquiola first unveiled in a new Milan flagship; the launch of a new logo and branding message, and investments in communication, marketing, industrial production and its online store.
The company will open a new headquarters and showroom in New York’s SoHo in October or November to directly control its business in the U.S., further strengthening its wholesale accounts. The U.S., where there are two Fabiana Filippi boutiques, in New York and Dallas, accounts for 10 percent of company sales. In addition to a presence in main department stores, the brand is available at 60 specialty stores in the U.S. and online.
“This market is underdeveloped, there is much growth potential and we want to bring it to the level it deserves,” said Filippi Coccetta. “Headquarters in the U.S. will allow us to be closer and more reactive to the market, responding to the changes, and to forge new and more solid partnerships and collaborations.”
The brand is not present in China yet, and a new branch in the country, most likely based in Shanghai, will open in the second half of 2023. In that case, the focus will be on retail first, followed by wholesale. “We are beginning to communicate our brand in China to prepare the market,” the executive said.
The company has invested in technology and in its e-commerce channel, which has seen a 50 percent increase year-over-year and represents 4 to 5 percent of sales. “It should account for 10 percent of the total in three years,” Filippi Coccetta said.
The new brand identity, with a new “more modern and readable logo,” is reflected in the new flagship store that opened in Milan’s Via Spiga last weekend and that will be officially inaugurated with an event following Fabiana Filippi’s presentation during Milan Fashion Week on Sept. 22.
“We liked the idea of a woman interpreting the location for our women customers,” he said.
The central region of Umbria, where the company is headquartered, with its beautiful natural landscape, was an inspiration for both the store and the new brand image.
The boutique was conceived as a multifunctional space with a linear minimalism yet multiple organic textures and recycled materials, such as glass debris becoming a new revisited surface.
The boiserie covering the walls has vertical lines that hide the paneling, and the walls are treated with lime wash, a sustainable alternative to paint. The shelves displaying folded garments and accessories are made from recycled glass. The tables are designed in reclaimed steel.
There is a natural progression of rooms and the passageways are marked by wide stainless-steel frames whose angular precision contrasts with round steel columns holding an off-centered self-standing display unit, dividing the main room.
An accessories corner is marked by walls clad in paneling made of a sustainable recycled paper material, inspired by Umbria’s stone quarries, to better display the burgeoning category. For fall 2022, Fabiana Filippi developed a stronger handbag and footwear collection designed by accessories veteran Diego Dolcini.
A soft carpet made of recycled yarns covers the floor and the display installation alternates matte and mirrored steel. The walls in the fitting rooms are covered with cement and amber-colored recycled glass.
The new sleek, polished and minimal logo, designed by Studio Cucco, reflects the brand’s aesthetic evolution in a sans serif Futura-based typeface.
Soft Umbra is the new institutional brand color, in pale gray-green “inspired by our territory’s morning dew. Next to it lives Zolla, from the clumps of warm clay-colored earth that come to the surface when the land is plowed each season,” Filippi Coccetta said. The new logo comes in warm white and matte black. The sustainable packaging and paper lightly textured will feature a Highland embossing. Starting from the fall 2022 season, the new brand identity will be applied to products, labels, store signs, social media channels, the website and all communication tools.
The brand will also launch a series of new mono-thematic capsule collections designed by creative talents “that have never worked with us before, so that they will reinterpret our codes,” Filippi Coccetta explained.
He admitted the company was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, but he expects sales to surpass 2019 levels in 2023, reaching 100 million euros next year.
“We turned the negativity into a positive, aware of the future possibilities, optimizing our industrial processes, becoming more efficient, keeping a high level of quality, mapping out new projects that would give a strong signal to the market, investing in our production and we did not fire any of our employees. On the contrary, we hired new resources and strengthened our management organization. We have healthy ambitions,” concluded Filippi Coccetta.