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Thursday 26 May 2016

From Cultural Beauty to Business Excellence

The secret to the success of the “Made in Italy” brand according to Roberto Zuccato.

Roberto Zuccato - CEO of Fontana Couture and Affiliate Professor of Marketing at ESCP Europe Turin campus -  tells us how to succeed in a global market.

Fontana Couture, founded in 1928, embodies the ultimate quality in Italian Fashion and is an outstanding example of success throughout the world.

What does “Italian culture of beauty” mean?

Roberto Zuccato: «Since birth, Italians are brought up amid the splendour of our artistic heritage, for us beauty is about revealing the true nature of things. In the clothing industry it is said that the ability with which Italians make clothes is superior to anyone else’s in the world, aside from the French. By ability I mean specifically their understanding of the details: it is as if we worked with a microscope with which we look at things in their tiniest parts.

Our designer takes hours to choose a colour tone. This ability to understand the differences is part of our culture. Roberto Benigni said about poetry: "Italians are great poets because we spend hours choosing one word instead of another". Our designer does the same, she spends hours combining embroidery with silk, or with an accessory designed specifically for the dress. And that is why there are customers who come to us from all over the world - from South Korea, South Africa, USA, UK, Switzerland, Taipei - to seek this attention to detail, that they cannot find in other countries.

Fontana Couture is an example of how you can use this ability that comes from our being born surrounded by beauty. We have to defend the value of the “Made in Italy” brand».

What is the secret of the “Made in Italy” brand?

Roberto Zuccato: «I have represented big Italian firms (Martini, Lavazza, Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Maserati) and I have had the opportunity to work in many countries. Probably Italians are not the most talented designers in the world and, on the other hand, there are many others who make handmade products of high quality.

However, the close ties between industry, crafts and style is the distinctive feature of Italian design which makes it a reference point and model of excellence worldwide.

This ability to combine superior craftsmanship and design is what makes us unique and gives us a kind of natural positioning: in this, the world recognises us as masters. 

I believe that we should include the history of art in business management courses - I realise that it sounds strange - to introduce this concept of beauty which is very difficult to define, but we know that it surrounds us here in Italy. It may seem incredible, but outside of Italy I have suffered from a "lack of beauty".

We need to continue to develop this melting pot of skills, beauty and ability, because it is one of the qualities that makes us different from everyone else, a differentiating factor that we must learn, even as managers».

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