Michele Norsa: "Italian companies will struggle to work together"
Interviewed by TV journalist Enrico Mentana at the Fashion & Luxury Summit, organised in Milan on 10th November by consultants Pambianco and by Deutsche Bank, Michele Norsa, the former CEO of Salvatore Ferragamo, has offered his opinion on what the future holds in store for Italian fashion and luxury goods companies.
According to Norsa, now a consultant and board member in various international groups, "after what were relatively easy times for everyone, we are now in the era of winners and losers, and the luxury goods market is moving towards a consolidation phase, marked by limited growth; much more attention will be paid to profitability."
Norsa reckons that the generational handover by the great designers and entrepreneurs of the past did not take place in Italy, and aggregation turned out to be impossible, the opposite of what happened in France; as a result, many Italian labels ended up in the hands of foreign groups.
Asked whether major groups are likely to be created in Italy too in the future, Norsa was sceptical. "I don't think so, we lag 15 years behind and there are neither the people nor the institutions capable of setting off this kind of process. We need enlightened entrepreneurs, capable of grasping which route needs to be followed in the generational handover phase."
There are some good news though. "A very good job is being done of fostering the appeal of Italian fashion, which was never so strong before," he added. "A few years ago, new consumers from China, Russia and India were attracted by the brands only, they were not aware of Italian culture; they are now more sophisticated, and they appreciate Italy's beauty, from its cuisine to its cities. [Italian] brands must be able to satisfy such new customers."
Asked which was the most satisfying moment in his managerial career, Norsa replied "the turn-around of Valentino. I am very proud of this label's success today."
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