In 1993 – the story goes on their website – Emilia Giberti and Adriano Aere decided to enter the women fashion market with contemporary, made in Italy garments. Please Denim was born in 2008 with a line that acknowledged an integrated business vision of a made in Italy fast fashion from design to selling; they also developed an international marketing project with interesting results in Europe. In 2016 they entered the children wear market with their Please Kids trademark. We talk with Adriano Aere, president and founder of the Imperial Spa group together his wife Emilia Giberti.
How did you create the trademark and what is its place within the Imperial Spa group? How will you develop it?
I established Imperial SpA with my wife Emilia Gilberti in 1978; today the company is the Italian flagship of fast fashion, fully made in Italy, at your doorstep. Supported by a double-digit growth in the last few years, Gruppo Imperial, a top player in this industry, closed 2016 with over 200 million Euro of sales. Such a positive result was confirmed by an 18.5% EBITDA in 2016. Today, with in excess of 200 workers, Imperial Spa makes approximately ten million garments delivered worldwide, with dedicated supply centres in number of countries, say France, Spain, Portugal, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Cyprus and Hong Kong. With its proprietary brands Imperial Fashion and Please, owned by the Bologna based group,
Imperial Spa operates both on the retail market with approximately hundred points of sale, and on the multi-brand market with over 1,500 clients worldwide. In 2014, backed by its expansion, Imperial Spa acquired the women’s fashion trademark Dixie to cover a wider market bracket and to promote a deeper penetration of international markets. In 2016 we also entered the children’s wear market thanks to a partnership with Gieffe Moda, based in Sant’Egidio alla Vibrata, (Teramo Province, Abruzzo region). The project gave birth to the Magico Kids, a company (controlled by Imperial Spa) that leased a business unit of the Abruzzo based company, benefiting from a thirty years’ experience in baby and junior garments manufacturing, to make Please branded kidswear collections. The Please collections for kids offer trendy garments that cleverly combine quality and style with a competitive price.
How is the structure of the Company Business?
The factory producing for this brand is located in Sant’Egidio alla Vibrata, in the Teramo province. On approximately 10,000 sq.mt. 25 people do the styling, prototyping, patterns, logistics. In 2016, Imperial group sold more than 200,000 Please Kids labelled garments with a 2.5 million Euro turnover. We expect to reach 6 million Euro by the end of 2017. We expanded our business mostly in Italy, Germany and France. In 2017 we are focusing on Spain, Cyprus, Russia, Ukraine, Belgium and the Arab countries. In particular, we concentrate on Iran, where we started a promising partnership.
What is your brand philosophy in you approach to the market and which features make Please Kids garments special?
As I said, the Please collections for children offer trendy garments that cleverly combine quality and style at a competitive price. From the launch of the range, we constantly innovate our product to let our garments meet the demand of the market. In our business unit, 25 people take care of the full process from styling to prototyping, pattern making and logistics. Approximately a hundred units mostly located in the Abruzzo region do the seaming, printing, embroidering, washing and re-conditioning of garments. The very important stage of quality checking and shipping are in-house processes, as well as management and sales. We can boast of a made in Italy, excellent product. We invest a lot in innovation and rely on top technology. Just to give an example, the pattern making and grading stages of the process are carried out using a cutting-edge Gerber system.
Any projects on the drawing board?
Our developing project went hand in hand with the development of a strong and fully capable distribution network. At present, we sell through a multi-brand channel; on the international market we work with branches of Imperial group, as it is the case in France. From the very start of the kidswear project we exhibited at some key trade fairs in this industry, like Pitti Bimbo. We are starting some important projects that we are developing in 2017, such as e-commerce of our brand and opening of some corners at the most representative multi-brand stores in Italy.
By Sanzia Milesi