Apparel technology

We do not cover, we dress

Chairman by profession, entrepreneur by vocation, Andrea Lardini tells us about sartoriality, childhood attitude, passion and much more

Andrea LardiniThere is a breath of fresh air in what we call the “beletage” of menswear.
And the Lardini Group, the family run business, founded in 1978, with its headquarters and production facilities nestling in the hilly landscape of the Italian beautiful Marche Region is clearly part of the upward trend. Exports for the organization cover 80% of the turnover, which in 2013 reached a total of 60 m €, compared to 55 m € in 2012, with an 10%EBITDA for the group that registered a considerable growth in 2014 as well. Revenue of the Lardini collections represents about 35%, the remaining 65% comes as result of collaborations for full package production with leading Italian as well as international brands such as Billionaire, Dolce & Gabbana, Etro, Salvatore Ferragamo, Burberry and Brooks Brothers, Versace, Valentino.
Lardini menswear – the brand stands for a ready to wear tailoring line, directly retailed at its new Milan and Munich showrooms, alongside three exclusive boutiques, in Milan, Moscow, Baku and Xi’an. Lardini is back with women’s wear, where the sibling founders, during the late 70s and early 80s, had gathered their first experiences in this completely different market segment. Then there is Lardini RVR (for reversible) Men and Women – offering jackets and coats – smart double-face programs linking the functionality and attractiveness of sportswear and the chic of a contemporary type of formal wear. All the lines reflect the Lardini typical and unmistakable signature.

Listening to Andrea Lardini the secret for the success of Lardini is quite clear: «The garment should not cover but dress». The main task is creating a 3D-corpus from a premium fabric: «…of course we do have a high perception on quality, we always had it, right from the beginning», Lardini adds. And that’s why there never was any consideration to deviate from the “Made in Italy-strategy” to ensure supreme quality that is perceived in the moment you slip a jacket or a pair of trousers on – this is high fashion at its finest.
The complete lifecycle from fabric treatment, garment design, pattern making, material cutting to finishing is mastered by over 300 internal employees, along with 700 external co-workers. To this adds the construction of a new building, which will extend the 10.000 m2of the Filottrano factory, in the province of Ancona with an additional 7.000 m2.
Commitment to classic, to be defined as sartorial fit is the recipe for the success of Lardini. Never stand still, keeping continuously on track with new trends for manufacturing, for fabrics and trims and with what technology has to offer to assure the highest quality and efficiency. «What will improve our quality? What solution will support further time savings? – Under this type of aspects we observe what the market has to offer», states Lardini.
GerberThe result of the careful observations in automation solutions is a full commitment to Gerber Technology systems for pattern development, grading and marker making (handling an average of 1.500 sleeve pieces per day), using the AccuMark family of software solutions with a total of 22 workstations including 3 dedicated to use AccuMark MTM (Made-to-measure), for plotting (5 Gerber-Plotters of different types) and 6 Gerber cutting systems for single and medium-ply applications as well as check-and-stripe-matching technology. To fully control the Lardini-universe the PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) system YuniquePLM completing the Gerber suite of CAD/CAM and IT solutions is going live at the organization and their collaborative partners on both ends – manufacturing and distribution.
Lardini«Human resources are the foundation of all», emphasizes Lardini, president of the company but also consultant to the association of the apparel industry in the Marche region, board member of the region’s organization to support subcontractors, of Sistema Moda Italia and member of the Pitti Uomo committee. That’s why «Our response to the beginning of the crisis was not to reduce our highly skilled workforce here in the small Filottrano (town of 9.000 inhabitants) nor risk the existence of any of our subcontractors in the surroundings but to readjust the focus of our salesforce and to work on collection improvements for Lardini with a stronger statement to fashion. This led to fresh impulses into the market and towards the consumer».
The Lardinis take the term “family” to heart. That’s why for instance lunch breaks in manufacturing last 2 hours: «Operators need to get home and feed their families». They have a staggered time table for different groups to assure the workflow. Treating employees with great respect is the Lardini credo. A respect that shows itself resplendently in the final product.
When it comes to leadership the family business is on the safe side. With the eight children of the four siblings the next generation already stands at the starting gates. Thanks to their dedicated education and studies they either gather experience outside the organization or already fulfil actual tasks under the guidance of Andrea Lardini, of his brother Luigi Lardini, the creative visionary behind the design and style, their sister Lorena – the brain behind the financial and administrative aspect of the company, and the younger sister Annarita, helming the manufacturing procedures with a keen eye to ensure each suit is produced to their high quality standards.

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