A Conversation with FORZIERI: A Global Landmark for Luxury Accessories
Set in charming Florence, Italy, FORZIERI is an world-class shopping landmark as a one-of-a-kind accessory only shopping destination. Melding together expert selections and a to-be-minted editorial magazine, FORZIERI offers shoppers a blend of discovery and inspiration to shop their myriad of curated goods from premium bags, shoes, jewelry, to perfumes and much more.
Jing, ModeSens’ Fashion Director had a chance to sit down with the mind behind the eponymous platform, Andrea Forzieri, about his insights into the accessory world, starting their own storytelling with their own Collection, and the evolving mindsets of the Chinese luxury shopper.
Read the full interview below and discover more from FORZIERI.
Jing: Tell us about FORZIERI. How did it get started?
Andrea: Forzieri got started as I envisioned a major gap between the traditional department stores and the classic fashion concept-stores. The market needed an Accessories-only specialist able to attract not only the fashion-conscious but a broader segment of luxury conscious men’s and women’s, world travelers and professionals with no time to shop around.
J: What’s unique about FORZIERI?
A: Due to our Accessories-Only DNA, our buying is very peculiar. We create merchandising store is 100% based on accessories, so a lot of creative and merchandising effort required. Due to our unique positioning, there’s normally a less than 5% overlap between FORZIERI's selection and selection made by the classic fashion stores.
J: What are your favorite pieces right now in the store?
A: Malone Souliers shoes. Moschino news statement bags, one strong step further beyond Moschino’s classic fun-only pieces.
J: What are the trends do you see going on in the fashion world?
A: Asymmetric trends is what I see at the moment. Never in history we’ve seen such a mix of 70s together with futuristic designs… hyper-minimalism and hyper-decorative designs.
J: What are some upcoming brands that your customers should know about?
A: Cult Gaia, Simon Miller, Malone Souliers, Altuzarra.
J: Your packaging and that overall experience is really well done. Tell us more about that.
A: People want to feel special. That is what we want our customer to appreciate from us. We have curated packaging and we add fragrance to the package. You can decide how you want to wrap it up what type of paper you want and if you want to spray the package with Chanel or spray with Armani or Gucci. For the luxury segment, it's not just about the product you sell but it is about service that you provide. You want people to remember it. You want them to keep your box in their home to hold their things and show to their friend.
J: So you guys also started a new magazine called, right?
A: Yes, we are growing our editorial standpoint. We are hiring a team in house and so we are launching the magazine at the end of the summer. It would be an e-magazine of interviews, speaking about jewelries, how to mix them up, and how to prepare gifts for your loved ones. We want to do it right so we’re going to launch it in a few months.
J: That’s so exciting!
A: Yes, shoppers need guidance, that's the point. With our selection, we are trying to create the perfect mix of shoes for men and women. You need to have the right mix of sneakers and classics. We still sell a lot of classics and handmade shoes as well. We have been on a lot of movies for our FORZIERI shoes. We were on Boardwalk Empire — our handmade shoes was shown on every introduction; bloggers were crazy about them and gave us a lot of buzz.
J: Besides accessories, I found that there’s only one apparel piece on the site: the leather jacket. Anything particularly special about it?
A: We are launching our private line — we are lucky to be in Florence. Florence, as you know, is the land of manufacturing for leather. Factories here are making Jimmy Choo, Louboutin, Prada, Gucci, so there’s so much history in craftsmanship. Nobody is able to copy since they’ve been doing this for hundreds of years. The factory that’s making our jacket also works with other major brands. It’ll be a biker jacket with very clean and timeless designs that’s appealing to both 18 and 60 year olds.
J: How many styles are you developing for this capsule?
A: We are launching 15 for women and 15 for men. These are edgy classics but not weird. It will be super well made and the touch of the leather is super premium.
J: Tell us more about your plans to relaunch your store in Florence.
A: Yes, we are planning to relaunch our family store in the heart of Florence. Right now we are not promoting it, because it's two separate world. That's still the old family story. FORZIERI.com is more trendy and edgy. Goal is to reset the physical store to align with what FORZIERI is — planning to launch a year from now. We are also expanding this physical space that will include a showroom area. We want to have an area for guest and photoshoots as well. We are truly excited about that.
J: That’s a ton of things going on for you guys.
A: Yes, emerging labels and new-and-upcoming things is really our core. We do carry the big names, but what we see is that people are interested in new stories. We are here to inspire people with new things.
J: What do you think makes the shopping mentality in Asia, specifically China, unique and different from the rest of the world right now?
A: In the early days, it was very tough to educate our consumers and our partners in Asia, because they were only into Gucci, Prada, and not much else. When I was in China a month ago, I was surprised: I asked them what designers they like, they told me that they’re into Altuzarra. So these people are travelling, whether it’s through VPN or actually going abroad; they’re learning to have a sense of what is cool and what is not. Chinese are starting to buy like Europeans is even more.
J: What do you think is FORZIERI’s main challenge right now?
A: Internet massifies the message but there’s also more noise than ever so the biggest challenge for us was to standout with our story, which was not easy. But once you stand out, it works. You have to do the magic, make it gain speed. We can make it gain speed if we work with the right partners, that listen.
For our future, we want to keep strong cooperation with our key brands we have on board — special projects and limited collaborations. We also want to have our own line and be in the mix. We’re bringing our own brand on board because because we have so many stories surrounding ourselves to tell, whether it’s with manufacturers and artisans, or whether it’s watches, gloves or jackets. If you see your FORZIERI pieces sitting next to a Saint Laurent, the perceived value will really help. In the end they won't be disappointed by the product, packaging and experience is gonna be amazing. It's a never ending story, but it is part of the fun.
Stay tuned for Jing’s select outfits and her personal insights from the coming soon.