Guya Nigi, joint owner of the family run women's and menswear boutiques Guya Firenze, which are based in Florence, believes that indispensable today is to offer a mix of innovative and upcoming brands as well as more established designer brands. What counts is choosing essential, though impressive products that can satisfy one's own clientele’s tastes and needs. Of equal importance is also making sure the customer feels at home, and has fun! Interview: Maria Cristina Pavarini

"Among our bestsellers there are both lesser known brands as well as more renowned ones"
"Among our bestsellers there are both lesser known brands as well as more renowned ones"
What are the current bestsellers and why?
Among our bestsellers there are both lesser known brands such as Boboutic and Marios, as well as more renowned ones such as Jil Sander and Martin Margiela. I think our clients appreciate them because all of them are characterised by an essential image and special style elements that make every single item look very unique and special.

Do people buy according to their favourite brand, style, or impulse?
We have some clients that need to be assured by brand, while others seek less renowned brands. Both however seek garments that are "Made in Italy". Others are rather struck by unusual pieces, and often buy following a rapture of enthusiasm.

Where do you order from? How do you inform yourself about trends?
When one does this work, trends can be smelt in the air. There's not much need to research too much. For sure going around shows, browsing through magazines and watching some catwalk shows can help.

Innovative installations in the shop window at Guya Firenze
Innovative installations in the shop window at Guya Firenze
How do you choose the brands to offer your clients?
I always think about my clients and try to buy according to their needs. Florence is a city whose clientele is always different, for this I always try to guess a kind of woman that might be interested in a certain product. For this I order according to an offer of sizes and colours that can be adequate in order to avoid finding much unsold merchandise in our boutiques at the end of the season.

How do the collections you offer for next Spring/Summer look like?
In multi-brand stores there are never real trends. Probably the only real new trend is “bi-colour” that can be found in both accessories and apparel. Also important is the increasing employment of innovative functional fabrics borrowed from the sports world for pret-à-porter and fashion.

What are the most important trends, in general?
Companies have started considering, of increasing importance, the employment of precious fabrics, and top quality tailor-made manufacturing techniques. This trend was dictated by the need of upmarket brands to differentiate themselves from cheap products sold, for instance, by vertical chains such as Zara and H&M.

Did you add any new label to your assortment?
Yes, we added, on the one hand, new generation "Made in Italy" brands such as, Andrea Incontri and Neil Barrett, and new generation “Made in Berlin" brands, such as Kuboraum and Umasan, on the other. Let's give youth a chance!

Inside the Florence-based store
Inside the Florence-based store

How does your store differ from other stores?

I really hope we are different from other stores. Have a look at our website and tell me your opinion!

What do you like about your customers?
They are very affectionate to us and love what we offer them. In a word they "trust" us.

How important is the interior, the atmosphere and the whole package?
We mostly try to recreate a warm and, at the same time, fun atmosphere. We try to make our clientele feel at home. We have never liked retailers who behave snobbishly and make their clients feel uneasy. In the end we are all simply selling "rags"!

Store's contact:
Guya Firenze
Via Por Santa Maria, 76/r
I-50122, Florence - Italy
Tel./Fax:  + 39 055 282764

Via Calimala, 29/r
I-50122, Florence
Tel./Fax:  + 39 055 219163