Conceived in Apulia and mainly made in the Marche region, casual wear for men by Eurofradi, owned by the Dimarco brothers, founds its quality on a made in Italy supply chain of artisanship and fabrics from the whole country. The brothers Mimmo and Francesco Dimarco established and manage the Apulia based Eurofradi Srl, founded in Martina Franca (province of Taranto) in 1996. Today the company markets the Fradi fashion brand: sales account for 8 million Euro with 40 suppliers and 14 manufacturers, 400 people working with smaller suppliers and as many retail shops in Italy (and abroad). One of the two partners, Francesco, chief executive officer and sales manager – his brother Mimmo Dimarco being in charge with style and manufacturing – talks with us about their experience.
How Did the Eurofradi Srl Adventure Come to Life?
We established the company in Martina Franca, Taranto province, in 1996. At the beginning, we used to make overcoats only. Approximately eight years ago, we approached the total look concept for men: suits, shirts, coats, jackets, raincoats, jeans, knitwear, trousers, polo shirts, T-shirts, waistcoats, even shoes and accessories. All what belongs to an informal apparel for men with a “Mediterranean” mood (including shades), sober, yet unusual. Our intent was not to confine our business to a season product, like overcoats, but to offer our clients a style continuity. We actually bet for it and the market rewarded us. We closed 2015 with approximately 8 million Euro sales, selling our brand at over 400 multi-brand highly qualified retailers’ in our country – and abroad as well. We focus on the international market thanks to a company structure based on 25 professionals, about 400 people working within an organised quality network of 14 manufacturers and almost 40 suppliers of raw materials and accessories, all of them connected in excellence clusters. We owe them the success of Made in Italy trademarks.
How is the Manufacturing Process of Your Garments Organised?
Internally, at our headquarters in Martina Franca, the design department, a team of experts I am happy to lead, coordinates and supervises each single stage. External workshops manufacture our items. All of them strictly made of 100% Italian raw materials at Italian firms only, with partners we have been working with for years, with a guarantee of protection from our side. As I mentioned, we work with 14 smaller suppliers; our policy being one company one type of garment – trousers, jackets, ecc. – so that all work orders are similar and the quality standard of our pieces is high. It means that one firm makes our trousers; we count on two-three firms for jackets, according to the demand; two subcontractors make shirts and as many manufacture knitwear, of which one makes polo shirts too. A manufacturer makes duvet clothing and two firms make technical duvet apparel and raincoats; another one is responsible for overcoats, while we cooperate with a couple of manufacturers for ties, scarves and shoes. Most of them are based in the Marche region manufacturing area and in Apulia as well, while shoes – a smaller though complementary segment for our business – are made in the Naples area. Regarding dyeing, 90% of our trousers and a good percentage of our jackets for the spring/summer season – as well as some polo shirts – are piece dyed. The appointed company is Tintoria Emiliana, Modena, an industry leader.
The Creation Process of a New Style
The process starts at the design department, where we first select the fabrics and the shades (solids or patterned) “to be carried out”, those on which we’ll develop a collection focussing on a total mood, that is our basic intent. Our fabrics are Italian made; we buy from around forty reliable suppliers, all of them medium to big size firms, prepared to follow us quickly and to ensure high quality raw materials, mainly from the Biella and the Prato area. We base our selection of fabrics on two major factors. The first is the turnover of the last season, the sell-out of a certain solid or patterned fabric and shade. Then we develop the idea. Just to give an example, while boiled wool sold very well for our overcoats last winter, we realised that linen-cotton fabrics were a bestseller for lighter jackets. Therefore, we are offering them again this year, however with smaller, sober patterns – Vichy patters made of Mouliné yarns that make a jacket look understated and not too showy. Of course, the total look offer plays a key role. The process is more complicated, including nice though unusual combinations. We have to study our collection according to this principle and not considering just the single garment, but the entire combination conceived upstream. In fact, the design department combines different fabrics and prepares prototypes to check if everything works well. From this stage we pass over to the sampling. We have approximately 195 items made and presented in a full combination by our agents and representatives in photo books that, once again, illustrate the concept of a casual man wearing Fradi.
by Sanzia Milesi