Sportswear International this week talked to Alfio Visalli of Boy in Diano Marina (Imperia) in Italy, about motorbikers, classic polo shirts, and disloyal competition.

“Right now, my store's bestselling brand is Peuterey plus all the brands of the Geo Spirit group. Also Belstaff is bringing great satisfaction. They offer such carefully detailed products, such high-quality level in outer jackets and especially in leather jackets that one can hardly find in other competing brands worldwide. Moreover, Belstaff is offering products that match the needs of my clientele for function and style very well. In fact, my store is mostly aimed at a male clientele (60% are men), and many of them are motorbikers.

Also well-performing is Aeronautica Militare. Despite its sporty attitude it is very well distributed since sold at the best designer apparel stores. I sell well their tops, sweatshirts and t-shirts as well as their accessories such as, for instance, watches, helmets and leather items. Also successful are their aviators’ overalls. They are exact copies of the Italian Army's pilots and my customers really love this kind of product.

In terms of jeanswear, my bestselling brands are Replay and Diesel. In the past I've been working much with designer jeans like D&G and Calvin Klein jeans, though they have lost attraction amongst my clients. For this, I went back to some true specialists in this segment. I mostly sell skinny models; innovative washes and treatments are well accepted. Especially Replay is offering a very good range of new washes such as, for instance, a new crinkled-effect optic, a sort of water surface-like effect.

Also very successful is Jeckerson. It is a medium-high product most appreciated in both variants - with and without Alcantara-patches on the legs. Most successful, then, is their special edition model carrying a print of an international flag motive instead of the leather patches. Every year, in their summer collection, they launch a different flag decor for a special limited edition series. Last sumer it was a re-edition of the Cuba flag. These jeans are expensive (they cost about €390-400) but people look for sophisticated and special products. They will also offer a cotton-carbon fiber special edition.

Knitwear is successful as well. Not a special color, though thick knitwear models are mostly looked for - better if carrying elaborate motives, tresses or important collar motives. Also successful is Fred Perry. It’s British, classic, and no frills appeal is much appreciated. Their polo shirts are very successful, as in general is this model - no matter what brand is offering it.

Regarding accessories, I tend to sell bags and accessories of the same brands I'm already offering apparel collections - strap bags, in leather, leather and nylon as well as nylon on its own. It all works. For footwear, I tend to offer some extraordinary models. For instance, I sell Converse, though only John Varvatos special edition. If basic Converse models are sold at about €70 at retail, we sell Varvatos' special collection at a €190-200. Also underwear by D&G, Roberto Cavalli and Just Cavalli is very popular at the moment.

My store also offers some more fashion-minded products, and if I have to say what is not selling at all in the past seasons, these would be jackets and coats. Our customers' mentality has totally changed. Moreover, people more and more often tend to only buy something when the sales season starts, but, unfortunately, some stores tend to start the special discount sales earlier than the official time. This is disloyal competition."