A quiet revolution is happening at leading Italian fashion company Miroglio Fashion, which is reinvigorating its stores, its labels and its approach to customers. CEO Hans Hoegstedt tells Global Blue about the exciting year ahead for one of Italy’s most influential fashion companies
In the world of womenswear it often seems that the only options are low-cost fast fashion or traditional luxury goods. Yet there is a stylish middle ground. Miroglio, one of Italy’s best-loved women’s clothing companies, is a fine exponent of this category. It offers fast-moving, trend-led fashion that is beautifully made from high-quality fabrics ‒ and its sights are set firmly on the future.
The design team is incorporating the latest technologies - including 3D printing - to create some of the most exciting collections Miroglio Fashion has ever produced
Miroglio Group is one of Europe’s leading specialists in fashion and textiles. Its womenswear enterprise Miroglio Fashion creates and distributes 11 labels worldwide: Motivi, Elena Mirò, Fiorella Rubino, Oltre, Caractère, Per Te by Krizia, Diana Gallesi and Luisa Viola, Ipekyol, Machka and Twist. Its core team of 65 stylists, 42 pattern makers and 11 seamstresses ensures that each collection is distinct while staying true to the Miroglio standards of elegance and quality.
Miroglio Fashion is a hugely successful venture with 1,188 branded stores and 2,400 retailers worldwide. But when Hans Hoegstedt took the reins as chief executive in October 2016, he saw the potential for an even wider reach and even stronger brand identity. Spearheaded by Hoegstedt, the company launched a programme of reinvigoration and modernisation. As he said earlier this year, ‘we are opening a new chapter in our history’.
With years of experience in the fashion industry Hoegstedt is the perfect fit for the company. He describes the new project as a ‘wide-ranging revamp and new organisational set-up’. Miroglio Fashion, he says, looks to offer an alternative to the impersonal, low-quality products and service we have come to expect from fast-fashion labels. It is aiming to reclaim the qualities that have traditionally been associated with Italian fashion ‒ ‘such as focusing on people, a distinctive brand offering, attention to detail, and retail that offers an intimate “human” shopping experience,’ he explains. The emphasis for now is on Miroglio Fashion’s four leading brands – Elena Mirò, Oltre, Motivi and Fiorella Rubino – and that will be expanded to cover all its labels.
A key part of the mission is the introduction of new store concepts for each of the brands. A major renovation project, dubbed 300 in 300, will see 300 Miroglio Fashion stores renovated in just 300 days during 2017. New concepts will better reflect the different brand identities and will enable stores to connect more personally with customers so that visitors view their time there as more than just a retail experience. Stores will be digitised; new elements will include smart checkout systems, upgraded stock management and greater integration between online and in-store commerce.
‘It is essential that we remain in close contact with our customers, both online and offline, so we are able to understand what they want and offer them an increasingly distinctive and personalised in-store experience that is unique for every brand,’ says Hoegstedt. The Oltre label, for example, offers a chic yet comfortable aesthetic, bringing elegance to the everyday world. Brand director Furio Visentin explains that for the new store concept ‘we wanted our customers to feel like they are at a friend’s house’. A neutral colour palette, plush chairs, wooden furniture and the occasional flower display achieve this perfectly.
Fashion is a crucial part of the reinvigoration, of course, and Miroglio Fashion is refreshing and strengthening the identities of its four main labels. The design team has a wealth of fashion experience and artisanal know-how, and is now incorporating the latest technologies – including 3D printing – to create some of the most exciting collections Miroglio Fashion has ever produced. At Motivi, model and former Victoria’s Secret Angel Kate Grigorieva as the new brand ambassador, and it’s clear the label is going from strength to strength.
Elena Mirò and Fiorella Rubino both embrace curvy women, and Elena Mirò in particular is famous for its witty campaigns that celebrate fuller figures and the power of femininity. So collaborations with talented, empowered women are ideal. Luisa Viola recently tapped Italian actress and television presenter Mara Venier as a design partner, and the collaborative capsule collection for autumn/winter 2017/18 echoes Venier’s easy elegance and fashion-forward style. At Elena Mirò, a capsule collection was created in collaboration with Vanessa Incontrada, the Spanish-born Italian model and actress who is almost as famous for her curvaceous figure as for her creative talents. The ongoing collaboration celebrates the passion and freedom of women.
At the heart of the project is the customer experience. ‘We want to create a positive relationship with our customers. A genuine rapport that can make every woman feel she is at home, listened to and pampered,’ explains Hoegstedt. The programme has been a marked success so far; the first three months after its launch saw an 18% growth in revenues. But as the Miroglio team is keen to point out, this is just the beginning of an exciting future for the company – and its customers.