Retailer of the Week
21 Dec. 2011
MARTA DE MEGNI, OWNER, 519, VERONA, ITALYThis week, we talked to Marta de Megni, owner of 519 store in Verona, Italy, about offering unique pieces and brands in the city of Verona and how important it is that your customers trust in you. Interview by Maria Cristina Pavarini
What are the current bestsellers and why?
We have been in the fashion business for more than 20 years thanks to FUXIA store on Piazza delle Erbe in Verona that had to close down in 2005 due to family issues. Our love for fashion led us to open 519 store five years later, in 2010, a store that mostly targets women looking for young, designated taste and research products. We mostly sell apparel (70%), but also jewelry, shoes and bags.
Our bestsellers are Martin Margiela and Yohji Yamamoto who remind us where we come from. Apart from them, we have new bestselling research brands as Zero+Maria Cornejo (btw we are the first in Italy that sell it), Aider Hackermann and Jessica Trosman. Regarding Italian brands, we have a good sell-out with 830Sign, a brand born in Verona so we can promote the area. We also sell well Y-3 as a sportswear brand and Isaac Sellam for leather jackets.
Do people buy according to their favorite brand, style, or by impulse?
That’s hard to answer. Many people are tied to the brand but most of them buy because clothing creates emotions. When we buy for the shop and we fall in love with each single piece, it’s normal that we sell it because we try to convey this feeling to our costumer.
Where do you order from? How do you inform yourself about trends? How important is the communication with regular customers?
We order from Milano, Parigi and Verona. We visit all important fairs such as, for instance, Tranoi, Premiere Classe (Paris), Capsule (various cities), White and Fiera Moda (Milano), as well as many showrooms, we get many mails from all over the fashion world and check out many fashion shows. We also attend catwalk shows in Milan and Paris and soon will also start visiting NY and London.
Communication with costumers and all people involved in fashion is very important for knowing more about the fashion market, brands and trends.
How do the collections you offer for next spring/summer look like?
The collections of next spring/summer offer many bright colors and white, skirts, long dresses and special fabrics such as organza. Margiela presents men’s styles adapted to a woman’s body, Ackermann offers deconstructed jackets, Lavinia Turra created garments which show art works by Annalù Boeretto on the inner side, Maria Turri uses silk organza, Maria Cornejo employs an old VHS film, and Stouls uses machine-washable leather and jackets that can be transformed into bags.
What are the most important trends, in general?
It has only been one year that we are open, but we can say without hesitation that our most important trend are dresses: day-time dresses (by Margiela, Sonia Speciale, Vivienne Westwood Anglomania and MM6); special dresses by Vivienne Westwood Gold, Margiela Defilee, Maria Cornejo, Peter Pilotto and Damir Doma.
But of course an evergreen trend are jeans with Citizen of Humanity and MM6 being especially successful. The bestseller right now is a slim fit but also some different new styles are working well such as, for instance, bell-bottoms and boyfriend cut. We normally sell clean jeans styles characterized by very strong washes – sometimes also very aged – though clean, without any application or stud.
Did you add any new labels to your assortment?
Yes, we did. We added Maria Turri (a girl from Verona who mixes silk organza and leather), Theory Oliver Theyskens’ basic collection that will be added by more special items, but also Thimister and Michetti for shoes.
How does your store differ from other stores?
People who come into our shop know that they can find a special piece which is unique in Verona and maybe in Italy, for example Maria Cornejo. And our costumers feel good when they come to our store and they trust us.
What do you like about your customers?
We like their trust in us and we like when they buy something, they are happy.
We have a close relationship with them and they inspire us for doing our purchases.
How important is the interior, the atmosphere and the whole package?
Our shop is not static. The furniture is mobile and we can change the display whenever we want. The product is always important, but we never forget to make the customer feel comfortable in the first place!
Also the smell is important for us, that’s why we use the same fragrance from the beginning of this adventure, and it’s so nice when people go home and still smell the scent of the shop.
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