An evolved vision for tanneries, with regards to production, management and sustainability, 360-degrees. These are the summarized directives along which Italy’s leather industry should travel, according to Fabrizio Masoni, founder and owner of Masoni Industria Conciaria (Santa Croce Sull’Arno). Mr. Masoni became general director of UNIC – Italian Tanneries (association that is part of Confindustria Moda), in December.
What meaning does your new role in UNIC carry?
I have always been a member of the association, starting from 2001, when I opened my tannery. I have also always been a fatalist, and thus have accepted to become a part of UNIC when called upon. I see this as a “new opportunity” to face, with seriousness, enthusiasm, and the hope of being worthy.
What priorities should Italy’s tanning industry have starting now and looking to the future?
The current pandemic will end just as it has begun, we just don’t know when. At that point, our tanneries will recover and there will be a need for professionalism and specialization more than ever.
What do you mean?
Tanneries will need to create a serious managerial structure, together with making improvements in terms of sustainability and traceability, for the products we manufacture. But these are, after all, all topics that have already emerged in the past years when talking with clients. Our tanneries don’t need, now and in the future, to tan leather at a certain price, but rather be able to tell customers what kind of company they are, starting from where the materials are bought and the type of light bulbs used.
After a year such as this one, we can’t afford to make mistakes
What consequences will these upgrades have?
Some less structures entities will likely be penalized. But, this process will allow businesses to reduce improvisations to the minimum. Also, because when the time comes, we will need to be very ready to re-start. Almost surely, the recovery will be strong and move fast, which means companies need to be able to get ready. For example, by planning the purchasing of raw materials. Summarizing: planning all possible activities so as to make the least number of mistakes. After a year such as this one, after all, we can’t afford to make mistakes
Web and acquisitions
The luxury segment, to recover from Covid-19, is pushing towards the online channel: what do you think?
We manufacture for luxury fashion brands and for the luxury segment. We know that businesses can’t survive “only with the online channel”. The real first recovery will take place when planes will fly again, tourists will travel once more, and stores will open as they used to. As of today, there are still luxury fashion brands that don’t work online as much. One can buy just about anything online these days, but luxury accessories and products, because they are not “services” or “regularly used” as much, require a different purchasing experience that satisfies all senses: not just sight, but touch and smell as well…
Along the chain, and at different levels, 2020 strengthened the acquisition and merger rend. Do you believe this will continue in 2021?
Probably so. Also because I believe that many operations were delayed in these past few months. When the situation will stabilize, investments in these areas will also decisively re-start.
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