After refocusing its offer and collections’ timing, naming Matteo Anchisi as the company’s new CEO and the launch of Dondup D_One, a line of streetwear-minded sneakers, Matteo Marzotto, president of Dondup, explains how the Italian premium brand wants to expand internationally.
Why has Dondup recently named Matteo Anchisi as its new CEO?
After Dondup had detached itself from its founders, the company has grown to become a competitive player that is structured, professionally managed and young-minded. This passage had been studied to happen in about two to three years. Therefore, within the time of five full seasons we decided to choose it to be run by a manager coming from inside the company we are happy about.
Matteo Anchisi, who had joined the company as sales director and global marketing manager in 2016, is an excellent resource who feels Dondup and has also grown professionally inside of it. This is a path we had planned to take.
What are the company’s priorities?
This fashion house has to continue growing abroad. Today it can do it because since September 2016, when I joined Dondup, the company has been organized differently as we have anticipated significantly our collections’ timing delivery to sales teams. Our portfolio of products has grown to become more complete and, considering the purely design aspect of the collection, we are more ready in serving foreign markets. We have collections that are ready to be presented to agents and retailers earlier and are structured in a very careful manner. Therefore, Anchisi’s priority is to increase our export quota that today counts for about 30% to 32% of our revenues.
The brand continues offering Made in Italy total looks, trousers and denim pieces that have characterized it for its almost 20 years of activity.
We offer a very fresh total look with a highly profitable price-quality and high-level design. For this reason, we have all the right cards for being appreciated and growing abroad. We are now in the process to create a collection whose merchandising and marketing strategies are new and part of a much better organized company than two or three years ago.
Can you better describe how has Dondup anticipated its work timing?
We are changing our working rhythms according to the timing requested by international markets. We offer first an important pre-collection followed by capsules appearing later within the season, according to the expectations of our reference markets–Italy, Germany and Northern Europe and also Central Europe, France and Spain. This whole system has to work perfectly as the delivery calendar has to provide new products when the markets want to see it.
When you deliver a collection with a week or ten days delay, it’s too late. For this reason in two to three seasons we have anticipated the presentation of our pre-collection to our sales force of about two months.
How big are these collections and how often do they appear?
Our pre-collection offers more than two-thirds of what we offer in a season. Then we deliver the main collection and some other addition we offer when we have some important project to communicate or important clients to involve.
Though the capacity to produce small collections or capsules is a skill this company can do and wants to continue focusing on.
The new women’s collection launched during the last edition of Milan Fashion Week shows a more sophisticated appeal as inspired by the 1920s and The Great Gatsby atmosphere. Were there any changes in design office?
No, there aren’t any. Chicco Barina continues to design our collections and we are very happy about what he is doing.
How many stores do you want to reach?
Today we work with over 500 stores worldwide and want to grow globally. The true ambition is to grow abroad with the most qualified and greatest stores, be competitive and smart. If in two years we reached 250 doors more internationally it would be great.
What is Dondup’s present turnover and what are its future aims?
We are registering €60 million in sales today. If we grew stably 10% per year with the present market difficulties it could be an interesting and realistic goal.
By reorganizing our offer, new season’s timing deliveries, and focusing on sustainable products (also see: https://www.sportswear-international.com/news/stories/Denim-Dondup-goes-eco-and-partners-with-Candiani--14414) we can reach our goals. We want the majority of our collections to have zero-impact–not only denim–but also increasingly becoming the standard for other products of our collection.
We have to become Dzero also in as much as possible also in other product types like cotton, wool and silk. Surely cotton is washed and finished with damp finishing differently from silk and wool. Though the environmental impact could be similar.
Are you planning to open any monobrand stores?
At present we are focused on opening some pop-up stores in big department stores. We started in Japan and will continue in Korea as we are interested in letting the brand grow there gradually.
Launching capsules for such projects can help us significantly.
We think we will open three to four pop-up stores within the first half of 2019 in these two countries.