Entrepreneur and retailer Jacopo Tonelli believes in the importance to maintain a constant relationship and dialogue with all his customers. “I like them so much for their most different taste and because they are a source of inspiration – and information. They are generally so educated and passionate about fashion therefore I automatically like them,” he comments. Tonelli owns and manages these two prestigious concept stores in the center of Bologna (Italy) – the L’Inde Le Palais Donna (opened in 2001) and a similar concept store for men opened this year - both based inside historical buildings, occupying a total of 1,600 sq. meters. He also runs the lindelepalais.com e-commerce platform that counts 20,000 customers. For some time he also runs and manages Jato Group, his own family apparel manufacturing company based near Bologna, where he produces for top international designer brands and also manages his own brand Amen also strongly focused on top quality and research, as his stores clearly express.
What are the current bestsellers in your store and why?
If we consider our e-commerce activity this is a very positive moment for footwear since there are various bestsellers in this category. Aquazzura, for instance, is a very good example. Among some of most striking and successful novelties there are Vetements’ sweatshirts.
Other selected brands continue to perform well. Among them there are Valentino and Rick Owens, while in our brick-and-mortar store Celine bags continue to be successful as icons of modern luxury.
Do people buy according to their favorite brand, style, or impulse?
Part of our clients are experts who are very informed about novelties. They constantly follow social networks tied to the fashion business while others ' simply follow their taste finding at L'Inde Le Palais a very eclectic offer and surely very wide. Our role is certainly to preselect our customers and by making it we always follow the same fil rouge...we act as if we were personal shoppers!
Where do you order from? How do you inform yourself about trends?
I live my life immersed in this world. In this ambience friends speak about fashion, everything speaks about fashion. Plus my mother Giorgia is a true maniac of information and she never misses a trend. In addition to this we have many young passionate – and socially active - collaborators always ready to indicate interesting novelties. We learn all the rest from the different worldwide fashion weeks we never miss. And, not less important, we have to be sensitive enough in order to pick and synthetize all this amount of information.
How important is the communication with regular customers? How do you communicate with them?
Our store already works as a media in itself. It directly conveys an atmosphere and an intrinsic own lifestyle concept. Our events – often tied to music or artists help us recall our big community – so different and so similar. Differently, when we speak about our e-commerce platform our means of communication are more conventional and they include newsletter and social media.
How do the collections you offer for next fall/winter look like? And what are the most important trends, in general?
Getting back to femininity on the one side, but also an evident contrast between fitted silhouettes and xxxl pieces, animalier and floral prints and a general romantic tailor-made inspired eccentricity.
Did you add any new labels to your assortment?
We added quite a few ones. Among them there are Gocha Rubchinskiy, Astrid Andersen, Attico (an own brand we design and produce) and Sachai just to name a few ones.
How does your store differ from other stores?
It differentiates itself for its eccentric, though sophisticated, soul and for offering a balanced mix of different trends and inspirations. They also like our passion for fashion that often comes before the commercial aspect and our strong research. Not less important for many our customers is our ability for our spirit in gathering people thanks, for instance, to our restaurant and our spa and in general make them feel - somehow - as if they were at home.
What do you like about your customers?
Our on-line clients are about 20,000. I like them so much for various reasons. I like them so much for their most different taste and because they are a source of inspiration – and information - for me. They are generally so educated and passionate about fashion therefore I automatically like them.
How important is the interior, the atmosphere and the whole package?
The interiors are as important as what they “contain”. They are the house for our project and the music we play inside our stores is our soundtrack.
L’Inde Le Palais Donna
via De’ Musei 6
L’Inde le Palais Men’s Store
via De’ Foscherari 19/c