Interview with Thomas Wirth & Matteo Sinigaglia

Thomas Wirth & Matteo Sinigaglia
Thomas Wirth & Matteo Sinigaglia
Director, Replay Germany & CEO, Replay respectively

Replay: 35 years of denim
Replay – the iconic denim brand was founded 35 years ago, in 1981 by the Buziol family. In 2005, founder Claudio Buziol passed away, in 2010 the brothers Matteo and Massimo Sinigaglia became themajority stakeholders of the company with their Equibox Holding. Matteo Sinigaglia, who grew up in the nearby town of Padua, is happy to continue his late friend’s business:“If it hadn’t been for Replay, I wouldn’t be in this business,” he says. A visit at the brand’s headquarters in Asolo, Italy, where Barbara Russ spoke to Matteo Sinigaglia and Director Germany, Thomas Wirth.

Mr. Sinigaglia, how did you meet Claudio Buziol?

Matteo Sinigaglia(MS): We met outside of the business context. We were having fun together, going out. Organically, one thing led to another and we ended up working together. I was working in Asia, in the footwear business for a long time, which was my first contact with the fashion business. But I was always in love with denim. In 2001, the opportunity to cooperate with Replay in terms of footwear presented itself, and it became a great success. After he had passed, I got the opportunity to take a seat in the company and then later to buy it. My intuition told me to go for it. I would say it was a mixture of vision, passion and love for the brand.

And what brought you to Replay, Mr. Wirth?

Thomas Wirth(TW): I always liked the brand, I knew it since I was young. I’ve been working in the blue business for twenty years and I’m a denim collector myself. Five years ago, I had the opportunity to join Replay and for me there was no question, this was a dream come true. Of course, I wanted to join this historical company.

What does Replay mean to you?

MS: I would say that Replay merges the values of craftsmanship, tradition and innovation. This is where I see the consistency of the brand. It’s about how a product can be so individual that it becomes relevant to people. We’re looking for a disruptive view at the market. Not the look at what is going on at the market today is important to us, but what is and will be relevant for the people. Replay to me means a very consistent denim history, comprising precision, cultural values and maintaining a strong brand identity. And it has been like this for the last 35 years. We don’t change these values. TW: If you look at the denim market today, there are not a lot of brands with such a strong history who continue this way of work while still managing to add innovation. For us, that’s a big driver and motivator to work in this business. We have kept true to our DNA for the last 35 years and that is the strength of Replay to me.

What is the most important innovation at the moment?

MS: Innovation for me is something that makes people’s lives better. So for me, innovation is self-sustaining. We never start innovation because of faults in our products – we are very good at doing denim – but to improve people’s lives. We are looking for the simplest ways to do that. I think we were pretty disruptive with our introduction of Hyperflex, not so much on our product, but on the market. The history of denim is relevant because of its changed use. Think about denim: it started as workwear, then it became a lifestyle item and then in the 70s it became a religion. Imagine a protestor, and you will see denim. Then it became a status quo and finally, a legend. This iconic legend that denim is, makes it important to remain authentic when making and innovating jeans. The next evolution is about how to engage with people authentically but still giving them a new benefit. Our latest Innovation, coming out on 15th of November, is a disruptive new denim for women called ‘Touch’.
Published on: 16/09/2016

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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