– PATRIZIA PEPE is a young brand, but it has already gained great popularity in Russia. So, you do know what direction to move in our time! Let’s talk a little bit about you. Once in an interview, you said that you are inspired by the female universe, what does it mean for you?
– I really like women, I enjoy looking at them, watching them. From the very beginning, I knew that I needed to create a product for an urban woman who works, who has many interests, who has her own style. Woman who has the taste to dress exactly in her own style, which is admirable but at the same time very simple. I always study women to understand what direction they are moving in and what inspires them. Because many women have a very busy life, almost all have a job, family, etc. And that’s why, I always look at what they wear and study it. Beautiful things in a simple manner are created at such a moment. I’m always looking for models that emphasize their figure, so that they feel beautiful. I am happy to be a woman and I like women.
– The Patrizia Pepe girl is always feminine and elegant, although many aim at versatility, why do you stick to this image? Do you think your idea will beat the idea of unisex? Or is unisex our future?
– I understand that this idea is inspiring in many ways now. Of course, this is interesting. Actually, it’s a mix between men’s and women’s fashion. But for me, this isn’t a canon for female sexuality, which is brought out by a woman. Every brand has its own concept, which it continues to be shown. This is what brand feels like and presented by to its clients. Of course, I have a male line of clothing. As for the menswear, yes, I have thoughts that it’ll go in the direction of unisex. As for my traditional collections, which I have dominating, I’m not going to change the characteristics yet, they are already connected with the female nature, I’m not going to move beyond. I don’t think that my opinion about the brand concept will also change. But the male clothing line is awaiting changes.
– In your opinion, what positive moments have happened due to COVID-19 in the fashion world? Are there new experiences, which you continue to use after the pandemic?
– There are positive aspects in all the events. We had a situation to rethink the vision of the business in order to adapt. In Italy, we are in a very difficult situation, so we’re looking for the most suitable choices, which we would have never found in the past life, which was the norm for us for many years. Now we have started to focus on social networks, and turn to the Internet for help to operate in smartworking mode, etc. We moved our work to an online format to make a collection and sell it online as well. Therefore, in that respect, we have moved to a new level. Our lives followed the same scenario. Now, I live in a countryside, and this is the first time I’ve seen the seasons change. And so, it is impossible not to see positive aspects in this. When we sat at home, we had time to review our history: who we are, brand values, and it gave extra energy to get back into the «game». We have a lot of plans and things to do, which is why I don’t see any negatives, only positive aspects. I hope that with the end of the pandemic, people will reconsider their vision of the world, as this is a new start for all of humanity.
– Brand PATRIZIA PEPE appeared 28 years ago. How has fashion changed since the birth of the brand? What are the main changes? And how will the fashion industry change in 5–10 years?
– Fashion changes very quickly. I find more and more informal clients and attentive ones. The closeness between the customer and the brand is also growing. At the very start, the brand and the customer distanced themselves. That’s why people took stylists who suggested a style to them, so as not to be judged. This transformation and change on the part of customers, most often on the part of the younger generation, they have become more attentive to brand ethics, to development, to values. During the covid period, they began to be more attentive to the nominal value of the product.
The brand is always involved in discussions. Not everything that makes a brand acceptable to the new generation. This topic is very democratic. The brand always wants to remain ethical, have values, and be sustainable. Also, changes are inherent in online sales.
I have a lot of stores, but even their structure needs to be constantly updated. You always need to find new solutions and keep up with the times. The style will always remain intact for me, but the approach, the ethics, the philosophy and the sales should always change depending on the situation. Because now we are faced with the problem of globalization, which did not exist before. Previously, Italian brands had no competition within the country, but now everything has changed and it has become much more difficult to work in the fashion industry.
– The appearance of “Generation Z” has changed the sales channels. What exactly did you focus on? With what new channels on social networks, Instagram do you think to further develop sales for “Generaton Z”?
– Yes. Now we have a website through which you can buy all our products, that is an important part of our business. We have our own showrooms and franchising. Online sales are constantly growing. Sales in stores are nevertheless important. Storefronts are the main part of attracting customers. We try to expand our contacts with the client in all directions, we try to create more and more sales channels.
We always keep an eye out for new developments. We also use the services of second-hand stores that participate in recycling processes. We see if they have things that could be useful to us. We are developing this direction, which is recycling of old materials. We try to keep up with the times and protect our beloved planet. Simultaneously, we have to follow the conventions, and to be attentive to what we do.
We try to be the most informed. For example, in China, we have a lot of stores, but there we focus on online. We’ll see what happens next.
– Is the Russian customer also important for you?
– Of course, Russia’s market is very important for us. This is one of the most important markets. I always find myself on the same page as Russian women. The Russian woman is beautiful, sophisticated. She is intended for the brand. I’m very happy about the Russian market, knowing that you also had difficulties during the pandemic, so I hope we will catch up with this time.
– What about the future?
– Yes, I don’t preclude that the brand will also switch to a virtual format. All of this is new to us and very interesting. Yes, we will take this information into account.
– What are your ideas about future shows, do you plan to return to the traditional shows in Milan and Paris, or operate in digital format?
– I think that we will make a step forward in that respect and there will be some changes, perhaps in the digital sphere, that will occur in the fashion world. This is a good opportunity to make the impressions more public and open. In my opinion, integrations are more appropriate. So yes. In the future, everything will develop in a digital direction.