Mr. Andrea Bonardi
Managing Director La Perla , Asia
I would say that buying luxury lingerie is a bit like buying an expensive watch...
In an exclusive interview with Fibre2Fashion correspondent Mary Christine Joy, Mr. Andrea Bonardi discusses the generic lingerie and beachwear industry. He talks about the market for luxury lingerie in Asia and the challenges faced by the same.
Mr. Bonardi comes from one of the fashion capitals of the world - Milan. He has served as the Asia Manager at the Milan Chamber of Commerce during his career which helped him to get acquainted with the Asian market. He has played an immense role in establishing La Perla in the Asian market as well as the other emerging markets since 2006.
As he shares his experiences and his views, an overview of the global lingerie and beachwear market is obtained.
Can you give us a bit about your journey so far? How was your experience till now in the fashion and apparel industry?
I joined the fashion industry by chance actually, and all happened following a La Perla fashion show that the Indo-Italian Chamber of Commerce I was working for did organize in Bombay in 2002. The then owner of La Perla was so excited with the event in Bombay, that he kept in touch with me, also to support the Chamber arrange a participation by Tarun Tahiliani in the Milan Fashion Week, which actually took place the following year. I only joined La Perla in 2006, but in the meanwhile I had the chance to work with such names as Valentino, Trussardi, Ferre, Zegna, organize fashion shows in India in 2004 and 2005. These experiences gave me a good insight in the fashion world and the way it functions. Eventually I was called by La Perla to join them in 2006 to develop the Asian market. And that was an opportunity I didn’t let go, even though I had no real background in retail and luxury. But I had fallen in love with the brand, so unique, so different, it was a challenge indeed but also a great pleasure. And when you love the brand you work for, than you find resources to tackle any problems!
Why do you think is La Perla better than the rest in the lingerie industry?
La Perla is the only lingerie brand that can make a woman dream, a product that blends sensuality, seduction, confidence, quality and comfort in one product. This unique mix is truly impossible to imitate in the lingerie industry. Competitors have been trying to emulate La Perla but have not succeeded so far. As a matter of fact, La Perla is the only lingerie brand that can afford a store in all the top luxury streets of the world.
Has the global recession hit the lingerie industry and its sales in any way? Can you describe keeping La Perla in mind?
The global recession has also hit the lingerie industry, especially in Europe, while other markets have actually grown. But La Perla, thanks to its unique luxury and fashion positioning, has been very resilient in Europe and growing in emerging markets, where actually a strong development plan has been underway, with the opening of over 30 stores in the last couple of years. We have huge expansion plans owing to the growing demand of luxury lingerie and beachwear.
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