They started out 5 years ago and already distribute in over 50 countries: from Bergamo to China. Marco Massini and Daniel Verzeroli, two friends based in Bergamo of 36 and 32 years of age, respectively (in photo), share a passion for motorcycles and travel. Together they decided to open Shangri-La Heritage, a brand that tells the story of the world through motorcycle leather jackets made in Lecco. The brand opened in 2017 with a name that evokes “a lost paradise”, a mysterious and unreachable place, symbol of the desire to explore that characterizes all true bikers. We interviewed the two young entrepreneurs at their first Pitti Uomo, they are filled with ambition and the wish to grow.
How is Shangri-La Heritage going?
Where did you start?
Marco is a telecom engineer, and he started out working in e-commerce: now he follows the operation and all its digital activities. I, Daniel, take care of the design portion. I have always loved fashion, but this activity started because of a personal need: I wanted a resistant leather jacket styled after the gentlemen of the 40s.
Where do you sell your products?
We have a web of distributors that we follow directly and cover 50 countries around the world. We sell 95% of our products outside of Italy, mainly in Germany, France, Switzerland, and China.
How did you enter the Chinese marketplace?
Thanks to an agent in Hong Kong, who started out as a reseller but then offered to represent us. It was difficult to get in, both for the linguistic and cultural barriers. Yet, looking at the volumes we sell, out product seems to be appreciated. Made in Italy goods do well in China, as they do in Europe. Only in Italy our price margin is misunderstood.
Leather plays a large role for you: what do you use?
Tuscan Merino shearling, vegetable-tanned lamb, full-grain calf, and horse. There are very few of us that use the latter: it’s something that sets us apart.
How did the pandemic impact you?
We started off strong on the digital channel and that, especially during the last two years, allowed us to be present on that channel. That’s how we absorbed the challenges and followed the orders directly. It allowed us to maintain growth: we doubled revenue between 2020 and 2021.
The goal for 2022?
Becoming more structured. Finding reference points to grow in specific countries. In the USA, for example, as we are only present in 4 stores in North America and where we need an agent that can make a difference.