EmmeWeb, Confindustria Modena's online magazine, interveiws Gianmarco Messori, CEO and official tailor of the Italian fashion house. Over time the company has built up a notable business presence in Africa, where it has taken its class and the quality of its tailored Made in Italy products: government ministers, business people, ambassadors, politicians, servicemen and other notable figures are all wearing Messori style and fully appreciate the tailored look with its eye for detail.
Here below, the interview with Gianmarco Messori published on EmmeWeb September 21st 2016:
Messori style out to conquer Africa
High-quality, reliability and experience: these are the winning cards that have led Messori to be an ambassador brand for class Made in Italy menswear in Africa
The Messori menswear brand has been present in Africa for years. Ministers, diplomats, servicemen, businessmen, notables in thriving countries like Angola, Nigeria, Congo and Gabon have entrusted Gianmarco Messori's tailoring experience to take care of their look down to the smallest detail, from suits to accessories. In this interview the Modena-born businessman tells us how he has managed to become an ambassador for Made in Italy products in these new markets and what his future projects are in Africa.
When did your business adventure in Africa begin? What are the factors that led you to invest in these emerging markets?
«I first had anything to do with Africa 15 years ago, but it's only sicne 2009, when I deicided to invest in "made to measure", that I intensified my contact with these emerging countries. In 2013 the economic crisis in China, a country in which we invested a lot in the past, led us to channel our energies towards those countries that in the next years will be the driving force in the world economy and Africa with its enormous potential is without a doubt the ideal market. We are currently working predominantly with sub-saharan African countries such as Angola, Nigeria, Gabon and Congo».
What's the African clientele like? What products do they want?
«I mainly deal with ministers, businesspeople, ambassadors, high-ranking government officials and servicemen: a select client-base that has a place among the elité of these countries and who are looking for tailored garments of the highest quality. I personally take care of each and every client producing not only esclusive garments, also offering a complete image consultancy service that sweeps from the single accessory to the creation of an entire wardrobe. Every detail is studied based on the individual client's needs, taking inspiration from their characteristics and idionsyncrasies until in the end we have a truly unique craft product.
Was it hard to work with such a select clientele?
«Being Italian helped me a lot in my approach towards these new markets. In Africa, Made in Italy has always meant class, elegance and sophistication. My clients are all very careful with regard to these aspects and recognise a guarantee of quality and prestige in the service my experience provides. Naturally, clients from different countries have differening characteristics and needs, which by means of a careful initial analysis I always try to satisfy».
In October the Messori brand is going to be at the centre of an important event in Brazzaville, Congo. Can you tell us what it's all about?
«The event which will be arranged in Brazzaville on October 8th is a huge source of pride for me. It will in fact be the very first time an Italian menswear brand organises a fashion show in this country. Moreover it is an event that has the support of the Italian Embassy on an evening which will receive a lot of media attention and which will take place in the courtyard of the Brazzà Mausoleum. This prestigious neo-classic location, which was opened in 2015, honours Savorgnan de Brazzà, an early 'discoverer' of the Congo and of Venetian origin. During the event top-quality representative products from the Italian fashion, food and wine secotrs will be on show for the Congolese businesspeople attending and interesting in developing partnerships with Italian companies. The Congolese Prime Minister Sassou Nguesso and many government ministers will also be present, many of who are already my clients. The event will be an important chance for me to consolidate the Messori brand in the country and will be televised live by Tele Congo, the countries number one channel».
What are brand Messori's next projects?
«The development of the African market is the top priority. As a matter of fact, Africa today counts for 25% of the businesses revenues and in the last four years these amount has increased at an average annual rate of 120-130%. These are numbers that really show the enormous potential of these countries. In order to fully develop a constant and lengthy commitment is required. Each country has its own features and peculiarities which need to be understood and interpreted, just like each and every client with who an exclusive and personal relationship must be built over time, in order to meet their needs the best you can by creating exclusive products of the highest quality. Exactly for this reason, consolidating brand presence, at the end of October I will open the first Messori brand boutique in the Radisson Hotel in Libreville, the capital of Gabon. This store is the first of many projects seeing as in years to come RAdisson is planning to build numerous hotels across Africa. This represents a fantastic opportunity to carry on with this partnership, which we have begun with this prestigous hotel chain and to open other boutiques in Africa».
Read the article on EmmeWeb