We are coming out of a year of “hibernation”, where both brands and the Italian luxury goods industry have had time to reflect but also to reconsider the situation. The first piece of good news is that the “garment and accessory” sector is among those that expect a relatively rapid recovery. The second piece of good news is that the silent work of the past few months is proving to be an opportunity for companies that have known how to continue transforming and adapting to a market model that is markedly different from the one we were used to.
There are six guidelines according to which this transformation process must continue:
1. FOCUS: brands are the first to rethink their collections with an eye on rationalisation (less variety) and targeted capsule collections. Similarly, third-party manufacturers and suppliers will be successful if they present an excellent but also clear offer, that is, those companies that enhance their strengths and are aware of their weaknesses, presenting a clear identity that improves constantly.
2. SERVICE: if brands rationalise their organisational structures, selecting the skills they need to keep in-house, they will have an even greater need for supply chain partners who can provide spe-cific skills, creative and development abilities, speed and reliability. The greatest complexity will be working with emerging brands/designers, who are less prepared and have smaller volumes compared to large, established clients.
3. DIGITALIZATION: the concrete and operational sharing of information, flexibility, and simplification. Sharing information through digital means, digitalizing of products, and planning activities with the support of new technologies will increasingly become essential elements, without which even manufacturing companies and artisans risk being left out of the market.
4. INTERNATIONALIZATION: one that goes beyond consolidated relations with large foreign groups. It is necessary to find new ways of transmitting know-how at a global level, reaching out to young designers and emerging brands, and offering comprehensive experienced support. While creating a brand nowadays is easy, it is just as easy to burn it; relying on trustworthy suppliers can protect against making a wrong move.
5. ORGANIZATION: by experiencing such a widespread crisis, we have discovered that collaborating often makes us stronger than competing. This is the time to build alliances, consortiums, and organizations with objectives that go beyond the emergency and aim to enhance the Italian distribution chain, make it grow, and present clients with the strength of a united and integrated system.
6. SUSTAINABILITY: the intrinsic value of well-made beauty. Thanks to efforts made over the years both by individuals and through associations, Italian manufacturers are quite advanced in sustai-nability and its three dimensions (Planet, People, Profit). Now more than ever, it must become a factor of success and recovery.
An “hibernation” period is coming to an end, and if we endured it as an opportunity, will make us stronger.