MILAN — A recreation with no prize, performed for the mere sake of leisure is the idea Loris Messina and Simone Rizzo conceived to current Sunnei‘s new iteration of the Canvas challenge — but it surely may be a becoming metaphor for the spirit of the designers in launching their model in 2014.
Because the starting, the inventive duo wished to play on their very own phrases, experimenting each with collections and distribution methods in addition to specializing in digital communication, which gained the model a cult following.
The height of their strategy, the Canvas project, was introduced last year amid the pandemic, at a time when each firm was rethinking business methods, together with scaling again their wholesale footprints.
A forerunner in Milan, Sunnei grasped wholesalers’ growing want for personalisation and supported its companions, enabling them to construct their very own alternatives. Out there at a devoted VR-enhanced platform, Canvas presents choose retailers the prospect to customise genderless carryover items together with ready-to-wear and equipment. Patrons can intervene on design points of every merchandise (altering size of sleeves, materials, colours, dyeing and stitches) to distinguish their assortment from rivals, whereas foregoing bodily pattern manufacturing allows the model to chop prices and enhance its sustainable follow. A win-win state of affairs.
For fall 2021, the Canvas assortment will double the attainable product references, reaching nearly 3,000 totally different choices (together with attire for canine for the primary time) and in addition contain finish customers. If the dynamic presentation of avatars dancing to the Nineteen Nineties Latin pop hit “Macarena” launched final 12 months principally concerned consumers, by way of the video-game format to be unveiled on Sunday all customers will be capable of work together with the ten avatars and select the look of their characters. Patrons will nonetheless be capable of make their very own alternatives on the devoted Canvas digital platform.
“We wished to take the idea of video-gaming to the acute and allow additionally our neighborhood and clients to play with customization,” stated Rizzo, including that the sport with no business or aggressive functions will nod to Nineteen Nineties aesthetics.
“The Canvas challenge has been crucial one we ever launched when it comes to media resonance, possibly as a result of we beat to the punch many others,” Rizzo stated. “In the beginning some consumers have been shocked however within the final six months digitalization took over and now everyone seems to be getting used to seeing collections just about and putting orders on on-line platforms. For positive this time they are going to be much more ready to it.
“On the finish of the day, it’s an elaborate, extremely experimental course of meant to supply a extra business product,” he continued, underscoring that the gathering hinges on primary silhouettes and equipment which might be typically bestselling classes for retailers. The complete-rounded collaborations with shops additionally prolong to personalized packaging, window ideas and launch occasions for every unit.
Rizzo stated the model want to steadily enhance the variety of wholesalers concerned within the challenge, which at the moment embrace LuisaViaRoma, Modes, Printemps, Ssense, LN-CC, Assemble by Réel and Biffi, amongst others.
The designer outlined the idea as “tremendous digital at first however mega native on the finish, as aimed to allow shops to promote domestically.” He revealed that the challenge will more and more symbolize the entire wholesale provide of the model as “we realized that it makes way more sense doing particular initiatives for this channel and have a diversified product assortment in comparison with the one in all our retail community.”
With out disclosing annual gross sales figures, the corporate claimed to have seen a 30 % enhance each in wholesale and retail revenues in 2020, principally boosted by the efficiency of its personal e-commerce. Specifically, the home and Chinese language market “grew exponentially,” adopted by sustained demand from South Korea and Japan, together with the remainder of Europe and the U.S.
“It was an natural development as we had zero advertising investments. Equipment like luggage, footwear and jewellery boomed and, typically, we determined to forego any low cost in 2020 to protect the perceived worth of the model,” Rizzo stated. He additionally acknowledged that the consolidated experience and effectivity on-line and digital communication performed within the label’s favor, with social media channels accounting for 70 % of the site visitors registered on e-commerce. “We’ve had the net retailer for 5 years and all of the actions, together with customer-care and logistics, are dealt with in-house, which helped to make the whole lot go easily even with the restrictions.”
But the designers are able to let go of a few of these tasks following Vanguards Group’s acquisition of a majority stake in Sunnei in September. The fund, whose portfolio additionally contains Nanushka, Aeron and the style commerce software program resolution Skala, invested 6 million euros within the firm in a deal that marked a pivotal second for the designers, empowering them to scale the dimensions of the model.
“I do know it would hold forth, however 2020 has been actually a loopy 12 months and a much better one than 2019 for us. It’s like we lived 10 years altogether, it was extraordinarily difficult however actually good,” Rizzo stated. “We would have liked the fund, it provides us construction and entry to a different normal. We have been a bunch of youngsters and now we’re a little bit bit greater, it’s a phenomenal factor. However when it comes to freedom and inventive decisions, nothing modifications besides that we’ve got extra alternatives now. “
Firstly, the restructuring got here with new hires in fields previously dealt with by the designers themselves, together with monetary and administrative ones. The in-house staff doubled over the past three months, and at the moment counts 21 workers.
To accommodate the employees, the Palazzina Sunnei headquarters unveiled final summer time can be expanded within the first half of 2021 to incorporate new places of work and a showroom.
When it comes to distribution, whereas on the wholesale entrance the designers will deal with inking partnership with key gamers within the U.S. and the Far East to “lastly stretch the bodily presence that we have been missing,” most of their energies can be channeled in a giant direct-to-consumer push leveraging the retail footprint and additional enhancing the net retailer.
A brand new flagship in Milan is to be opened this 12 months, whereas the prevailing Sunnei outpost in Through Vela — situated in an space little uncovered to buying site visitors however that represented the model’s first places of work and business area — can be retooled as a multipurpose location, internet hosting occasions, social gatherings and artwork installations. Further pop-up shops and shopsin-shop are additionally within the pipeline and anticipated to roll out relying on the evolution of the COVID-19 disaster.
Product-wise, the multidisciplinary strategy the designers have a penchant for will inform the enlargement to life-style classes, whereas the launch of a beachwear vary can also be within the works.
“I’ve a sense this 12 months can be much more dynamic and enjoyable for us,” Rizzo concluded.