The Attico

MILAN — The Attico will unveil a strategy starting in November that puts the customer front and center.

The brand, which was founded by Giorgia Tordini and Gilda Ambrosio, will deliver two collections a year, aligning them with the seasons and in-store deliveries.

This is a shift increasingly embraced by other brands, but in the case of The Attico, it has matured over the past year, said the brand’s chief executive officer Stefano Marcovaldi, who is also a managing director of Archive. This is an independent company controlled by Ruffini Partecipazioni Holding, which took a 49 percent stake in The Attico in October 2018. Ruffini Partecipazioni is controlled by Ruffini, Moncler’s chairman and ceo, and is Moncler’s main stakeholder. The Attico was founded in 2016 by Tordini and Ambrosio, whose combined Instagram followers total 924,000.

“With Archive, we realized we wanted to have a modern and more effective approach for the brand, to enhance its relevance and amplify its creative content,” said Marcovaldi. The strategy was finalized in June a year ago and in line with it, in February the brand skipped the fall 2020 show. “We moved the attention from trade to consumer,” he said.

In February, Nike Inc.’s Jordan Brand tapped Ambrosio and Tordini as two ambassadors to celebrate the recent launch of its women’s apparel line in Italy and the brand kicked off Milan Fashion Week by taking over the city’s central Museo del Novecento museum to stage a workshop hosted by the two entrepreneurs and influencers.

Ambrosio and Tordini centered the workshop around the concept of upcycling, providing leftover and excess fabric of their brand to invite attendees to rework them and create new accessories.

“We see Milan Fashion Week as a platform for special projects. The reaction and visibility was so positive that it encouraged us to have the confidence to switch gears,” said Marcovaldi. The coronavirus pandemic put everything on hold, but at the same time it is also accelerating the changes in the industry, added Ambrosio.

The collections will be shown to wholesalers during the regular pre-collection slots at the end of May and in late November.

Each collection will be distributed through two drops, each one delivered to the stores according to the actual product seasonality.

Marcovaldi said the fashion week model is “limiting, repetitive and rigid,” and that the world has evolved, requiring new ways to communicate the collections. While expressing his respect for qualified press, he said “the relationship between consumers and the brands is more complex and articulated,” also disrupted by digital platforms in the past 10 years.

“If a collection comes out now, I want it in two days and not in six months or a year,” said Ambrosio. But she was quick to underscore that The Attico is not embracing the see-now-buy-now model.  “By waiting for the products for six months, the information and the buzz is diffused — and as a consequence, the desire,” she opined.

Marcovaldi concurred it was key to maintain the “energy and engagement felt during the unveiling” of the project in February, for example.

“The six-month gap is antiquated, it goes back 50 or 60 years,” he contended. “We don’t want a revolution, but we must rethink the system.”

The presentation of the collections will be made contextually to the deliveries in stores to maximize the engagement with the final consumer and through constantly evolving formats to maximize the brand’s creative freedom. The wholesale partners will be able to order the merchandise through virtual showroom initiatives.

“We think that this strategy will really allow us to further strengthen the language and the positioning of the brand, while supporting its growth,” said Marcovaldi, who declined to provide a sales figure for the business.

Tordini also highlighted how this strategy allows more time “to focus on crafting the brand’s narrative and fuel our creativity. We always felt the urge of expanding the scope of our creative explorations and finally we have the possibility to do that. Creativity needs time to develop value, ideas and products, we are not on an assembly line.”

“There’s just too much product out there and the merchandising touchpoints are similar for all collections, from pre to main,” offered Marcovaldi. “Consumers want to be engaged.”

The Attico will continue to unveil multifaceted projects, collaborations and capsules, also with other creative talents, said Ambrosio, throughout the year. For example, last year, California-based denim brand Re/Done tapped the designers to curate a capsule collection of upcycled floral dresses and cargo pants. “It was creatively very stimulating,” she said.

The brand is available at 200 doors, mainly in Europe and North America.

“We are ambitious, we want to build a lifestyle brand. Fashion is only a starting point, the path is long, and we want to become more established,” said Tordini.

In the meantime, The Attico’s pre-spring 2021 campaign will be held in July, followed by a capsule collection in September. The collections will be delivered to stores and presented to the final consumer in October and February.