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Highsnobiety Q&A December, 11 2013

Lello Caldarelli of Antony Morato Talks Menswear, Italian Brands and More

Conceived as a trend-driven fashion brand by three brothers in 2007, Antony Morato has since become a successful player in the casual men’s sportswear market. Supported by a youthful attitude and clearly defined look, the label has created its own, distinctive stylistic language in both its wide-ranging product design and its original communications strategies. To learn more about the Italian brand, we spoke to Antony Morato’s President and Creative Director Lello Caldarelli.

Can you recall what the menswear market looked like when you first started the brand?

The idea of ​​creating a brand of men’s clothing was born after working in the field of women’s fashion all the way from the creative phase to the production phase. Knowing that the easy fashion market was well guarded by many brands of women’s fashion, the idea was born to target the men’s market – an area that was missing a young, stylish, dynamic and purposeful brand.

Antony Morato, in the world of menswear, started as a new luxury, smart brand. The name itself represents both the Italian and international nature of the market along with the vision of the brand at the same time.

The Caldarellis have been active in the fashion world for three generations. In what way did your family background influence your own business venture?

The idea for our brand was thought up in 2007 by three young brothers: myself, Giovanni and Tania Caldarelli. We wanted to produce fashionable clothing that was a bridge between different styles. Taking inspiration from everyday life and the things we see on the street, and combining it with the taste and knowledge of our young male and female coworkers (the average age in the company is 28), we try to formulate a simple proposal that is consistent, large and current. It seems very easy in theory but it is hard yet exciting work. So, certainly our family affected our business concept, but I think the combination of us three brothers was the driving force.

Your customers can chose from a vast selection of almost 900 items per season, ranging from smart to casual. Who exactly is the typical Antony Morato man? What is he like? Is it even possible to break him down into a single entity?

I believe that in recent years the consumer has changed a lot. He has become a fashion expert with the ability to mix styles and create one of his own. He can change, even within the same day, on the basis of different moments or moods. Just look at the various bloggers born in recent years; not only women but men have also learned to experiment with fashion instead of just being led.

Antony Morato, in this sense, is a response to this change; full of different ways to mix fashion based on their own style or a particular mood. I know it’s impossible to break down into a single entity, so we prefer to speak about “self multi-identity.”

Antony Morato is considered one of the fastest growing menswear labels to date and there is no sign of slowing down. How do you manage to uphold that kind of fast-paced growth without compromising the quality and integrity of the brand?

The problem in this fast growing experience is that we have to consider many variables which are all interconnected. The market is like an ecosystem and as we know, changing a small element can cause severe natural disasters. That’s a similarity but our commitment is truly constant and sometimes exhausting, but in the end we can see results. The best thing to do is look forward instead of stopping to look back at what has been done.

Initially only available in Italy, Antony Morato can now be found in 3,200 multi-brand stores in 61 countries all over the globe. However, you’ve also managed to establish a large fleet of retail stores. Can you tell us a bit about the underlying concept and the ways they contribute to the brand’s ongoing success?

One of the most important concepts is the “self multi-identity” – not to dress everyone but to dress the right people in every occasion. Antony Morato offers the opportunity to have a total look from morning to night.

Another important concept is “value for price.” It’s a new way of thinking about the pursuit of luxury – the chance to have luxury goods at reasonable prices. And that’s what we offer: a product with high style value at a very reasonable price.

Since its inception in 2007, Antony Morato has gradually gained a sizable following outside of Italy, now accounting for 60% of its annual turnover. In this respect, do you still consider Antony Morato to be an Italian brand?

Yes, for sure. Antony Morato is totally Italian. 100% of the company’s strategic partners are Italian: the creative departments, communication, marketing and even some of the production, such as footwear and leather which is 100% made in Italy. We deal with foreign companies as well, but we are Italian through and through.

Marketing plays a huge role when establishing a new brand as today’s customers tend to be highly fashion-conscious, well-informed, and thus more critical when it comes to adding new brands to their wardrobe. Therefore, brands are constantly trying to outdo one another in terms of marketing stunts. What can you tell us about your concept and strategy?

In the first year we worked hard to build a strong awareness of the brand in Europe and abroad. Over the next few months and years, our goal is to reinforce our relationship with our clients and to make Antony Morato the go-to brand for realizing their daily outfits. Digital and social networks will be the key tool in building this bidirectional channel.

Head over to Antony Morato now to see their selection of goods.

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