The saying goes, “behind every successful fashion brand is a great designer” but a label needs more than just creativity to be triumphant in the industry. It needs a CEO who manages the business side of things and one of these great executives is Eraldo Poletto, the CEO of Furla – the iconic Italian accessories label.
When the Furla Candy Brissima Tour landed in Malaysia, we got a chance to meet the famed executive to talk about his vision for Furla and what makes Furla one of the most exciting fashion accessory labels in the world.
The man behind Furla's growth
As the face of Furla, the man who manages the entire business is, of course, Italian but before he made it to the top position in the company, Eraldo Poletto was away from his home country for 15 years, primarily working for the oldest menswear label in America – Brooks Brothers. In June 2010, Poletto made his comeback to Italy to helm Furla and under his leadership, the company saw a growth of 30 million Euros in average profits.
Now, Furla is one of the most competitive brands with an ever-expanding market in the Asian region that offers luxurious goods at an affordable price bracket. Poletto says, “We have just launched the new Furla concept store and the first outlet to receive the makeover is Hong Kong. That is where our market is.”
To most, Furla is a new exciting retail brand that has landed in Malaysia but for those who might remember, Furla had actually been in the Malaysia retail scene in 2007 but quietly faded to the background.
Poletto says, “It simply wasn’t the right time for Furla then. That said, Furla has always been part of the Malaysian woman because even without the physical store, our loyal Malaysian patrons have been a great support to us – especially since most of them are global jetsetters.
So when Furla re-launched its Malaysian flagship store, it simply became more convenient for local shoppers to experience the Furla brand without the need for flying across time zones and continents.
What makes Furla special
For one, it is the only Italian “made in Italy” premium luxury brand in accessories and it comes at an affordable price. When it comes to honesty being the best policy, Furla is a brand that exemplifies that principle.
To Furla and Poletto himself, luxury is not about the price; it is about offering an irreplaceable retail experience to the customer and quality products with top-notch craftsmanship.
“My approach to my customers is always to be fair and not take advantage of them. Doubling the price of an item does not make it luxurious. It’s all about being exclusive and the quality of the product itself,” adds Poletto.
Bringing Candy to the world
Another standout of Furla is the iconic Candy bag collection launched in 2011 that has become one of the brand’s identifiers.
The Candy bag brings out the fun and creative personality of Furla with its use of bold and bright colours in contrasting tones – like the rock candies that children often enjoy.
Poletto says, “Our product is not logo driven and our customers are women that have personality and don’t rely on logos to define themselves. That’s what makes us appeal to the market.”
Along with the bag, Furla also launched the Candy Brissima Tour, where they brought the fun and creative DNA straight to the hearts of its consumers. The tour consisted of an exhibition of the Candy bag along with a live D-I-Y performance where celebrities and artists were asked to create their own reinterpretation of the bag.
Poletto explains, “There is a lot of soul and passion in what we do here in Furla. We love colours in our products and to have a little fun in our design. We are eclectic but not crazy. We love innovation and a good challenge to push ourselves into becoming a better brand.”
Moving forward and growing bigger
As a brand that keeps moving forward, we can see nothing but a bright future for Furla where it will grow bigger and better. Some of the big steps include the new concept stores around the world including Malaysia and also the launch of its online retail portal.
Poletto says, “Online is definitely the way to go for the future. It is of utmost convenience to our customers to be able to get a taste of Furla even at home and it is also one of the best ways for us to learn more about the Furla consumer demographics in order to improve and be better for our patron’s sake.”