In the latest issue of Leather & Luxury we interviewed Franco Baccani, President of the Anti-Counterfeiting Observatory of the Florence Chamber of Commerce.
Post-pandemic leather goods, how do we start again?
«Have we restarted? I don't think so. Companies are now producing their old orders while, as for the new collections, there is still uncertainty, especially regarding leather goods and apparel. It's a difficult time when even brands are having difficulty planning because of big losses. The evolution of closures globally, starting from China, has caused a Domino effect of problems such as the tourism block (which alone is worth 30% of the Luxury turnover) and the closure of stores. However, I am confident because the world cannot be stopped, but will have to adapt to new commercial, product and supply chain formulas. Luxury will start again, but it will take a few years to perfect this transition».
How does the challenge of eco-sustainability fit into this context?
«It was a fundamental theme even before Covid-19. I hope it is not just marketing but a real awareness on behalf of all market players. Let me give you an example. There's a lot of talk about circular economy but, in the last two years, leather goods waste has increased. This means that there is still a lack of true sensitivity on the subject. People who buy leather products know that this has natural characteristics that must be accepted as such. On the other hand, waste increases because the product is claimed to be flawless and this leads to increased processing and disposal costs. It's a question of balance and the post-pandemic period will especially help the new generations to truly respect the needs of the environment».
Digitization and web: innovative ways of working and new market opportunities or not?
«There is no going back from remote working, on the contrary. We will move forward; this is the future. It's a way of working that can reduce many downtimes by staying at your station even within the company. All of this means optimised costs, time, and spaces. At the end of this interview, I would like to add that I hope that all those working in the fashion industry understand that from now on there will be a need to manage companies differently, strengthening the control of their assets, finances, and operations. We must return to investing in the reliability of companies to protect the entire system».