“Creating new objects of desire with a manufacture of excellence”. Giuseppe Santoni (right, in photo) explains the success of his shoe company starting from the organisation of production, which involves more than 500 artisans internally and another 500 in the induced activities. Alessandro Pescara, CEO of Borbonese (left in photo), focuses on his brand’s best-selling bags, which are different in every market. “Fashion shows? For now, we focus on accessories,” says Pescara.
Desire and “manufacturing excellence”
Over 500 artisans work at Santoni. A craftsmanship industrialised through Lean Manufacturing. “We have work groups of 12-15 people. In practice, it is as if we had 50 craft workshops inside our factory,” explains Giuseppe Santoni, CEO of the company, in connection from Dubai with the Milan Fashion Global Summit 2022. “Each team has its own master and deputy. They train and prepare the artisans to ensure the team works well. We apply the concept of the customer-supplier island. Each island is a customer of the previous one, a supplier of the next and controls the work it receives. This is how we have reduced the defect rate to below 1%”. Thus, today, “a Santoni formal shoe worn one day a week lasts more than 20 years without maintenance. The trainer lasts less, but we are still talking about years”.
“We have a complex period ahead of us,” says Santoni, “but, meanwhile, we are coming out of another. There are many worrying factors including interest rates that could rise to follow inflation. We tend to be optimistic. We close a good 2022 and order intake for 2023 was positive, but we have concerns”.
Borbonese will close 2022 with +15% on 2021, and exceeding 2019 levels. Alessandro Pescara, CEO of the company, focuses on repositioning stores and creating consumer engagement to consolidate the growth trajectory. “Before opening stores in new markets, it is essential to understand the needs of the local consumer,” says Pescara. Thus, the Cortina model is the best seller for the brand that wants to focus on its core business: bags. “For now, we don’t think about fashion shows (as was the case in the past, ed.) but we focus on our core business, accessories”. Pescara concludes by explaining that each market has its own reference bag. For example, in China they prefer smaller sizes. In Germany, on the other hand, the opposite applies.