A Conversation With Two Neapolitan Excellences.

 
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The 8th of March, BS4F had the great honour to host at Bocconi University two successful Italian entrepreneurs: Luciano Cimmino and Fabio Attanasio.

 

Luciano Cimmino, Pianoforte Holding’s chairman, started working for his father as an agent and after many years of apprenticeship decided to set up his first own business: Original Marines. However, due to the difficult relationship with the other founders, Cimmino decided to leave the company and to start another project, founding the well-known lingerie brand Yamamay. In 2001 the company started with a single store in Milan, but in only two years the number of stores grew to 50 all over Italy, reaching 1000 shops all over the World today. Furthermore, while running this business, Cimmino launched two more successful and very popular brands: Carpisa and Jaked.

 

On the other side, Fabio Attanasio is one of the most famous Italian bloggers and a true representant of the new mediatic generation. Moved by his passion for the tailoring industry, while studying at Bocconi University, he participated in workshops with tailors coming from every part of Italy. In 2012 he decided to follow his passion and launched his blog, in order to keep up to date and inform his readers about the art of bespoke: The Bespoke Dudes. In March 2015 he started a new project: The Bespoke Dudes Eyewear, a collection of glasses and sunglasses, selected by Attanasio and hand-made in Italy by skilled artisans.

During the conference the two entrepreneurs talked in deep about the launch phase and the marketing of their activities.

 

Cimmino underlined that he was the first Italian entrepreneur to project and design its clothes in Italy but producing them abroad, even though nowadays this is a practise used by many brands and it wouldn’t be possible for Yamamay to compete in the fast fashion market without doing so. According to him, with this strategy, Made in Italy would not be lost.

Attanasio, representing the small artisans, believes that it is crucial to preserve the Italian know-how. In this regard, Cimmino, by next month, will launch a school for undergraduate students that want to learn craft jobs. He hopes to save Neapolitan know-how that otherwise would be lost.

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Cimmino also shared with the audience its belief that to start a new activity it is necessary to already have some experiences and a good knowledge of the market. Since the world was largely affected from the 2008 financial crisis and consumers have changed it is dangerous to improvise a business without knowing your target. Cimmino strongly believes that intuition is the key to success. Indeed, when he proposed his first Original Marines t-shirt’s model, he relied on his instinct even if the initial feedback was not so positive. His main piece of advice is to believe in your dreams and to do whatever it takes to stand out.

Umberto Lobina

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