We all know how fundamental Made in Italy brand is for the Italian system.
In figures, we are talking about the second largest industry in this country with a turnover of 53 billion euros in 2021 in textiles and clothing alone, a growth rate of +18.4 percent in 2020, 43,000 companies, and 370,800 employees. This data is provided by Istat and processed by the Confindustria Moda Study Center. Made in Italy comprises many renowned brands, some of which are still Italian – including Armani, Dolce and Gabbana, and Ferragamo – and others owned by French corporates such as LVMH and Kering, Gucci, Fendi, Bulgari, and Bottega Veneta. However, we are not here to talk about this but rather to talk about who is behind these big names. There is a huge supply chain of producers including knitters, tanneries, shoe factories, and many more to make your boot. The production process comprises immense know-how, craftsmanship, and savoir-faire that everyone envies us. In fact, there are big brands producing in Italy beyond the Alps including Hermes, Chanel, Dior, and many others.
That is why, in 2019, Florence Group was founded with the mission to protect and preserve the know-how by supporting the textile chain through three solid investment funds such as Italmobiliare, the Fondo Italiano Investimenti, and Vam Investments, headed by Francesco Trapani, former CEO of Bulgari and a well-known sector expert. Florence Group currently owns 20 acquisitions across nine Italian regions from Piedmont to Puglia. The business model calls for a founding partner to hand over its company to Florence Group while remaining a shareholder and decision-maker together with others. The strategic goal is to cover the entire supply chain. Each partner company is already a leader in the technical development and production of its product segmentation. What is the formula for success? It is the critical mass that makes it possible to strike efficiencies, savings, and improved management. Companies benefit from greater financial stability and decrease the risk of dependence on a specific product category.
Florence Group’s CEO, Attila Kiss is 55 and of Hungarian origin with extensive experience working in the world of fashion and a long-range vision for safeguarding the Made in Italy brand, a strategic business for our country. Attila embraced the project from the start, in fact, she is among the sponsors and creators. When an acquisition is made, Attila is committed to learning about the company’s employees and involving them in the global mission of safeguarding the technical and cultural know-how of Made in Italy productions. In little more than two years, she brought together many companies for a turnover of more than 200 million euros with more than 1,000 employees. The ultimate goal is a listing. Congratulations to Florence Group. May it be an incentive for other entrepreneurial initiatives to safeguard our country. Unity is strength; something we Italians still have much to learn.
Written by Valentina Rainone, CFO presso Wolford.