Trussardi Group, the Italian luxury and fashion accessories brand, has thrived for four generations. It began humbly in 1911 with a small glove making business touted by royalty and fashionistas for its quality. Now, the tradition continues in Shanghai, where Trussardi has just opened a leather shop on the Bund.
“We want to grow,” Tomaso Trussardi, the brand’s current CEO, says. “We are growing at a double-digit rate in every market. And speaking of growing, since Europe is in recession and there is little market share for us in America, we would like to focus on China.”
Trussardi’s new Shanghai flagship location spreads over 400 square meters and emanates a chic vibe. It is the brand’s first on the Chinese mainland. “It is a completely different one from other stores in European cities,” Trussardi says. “The exterior design of this store is brand new, a work of Michael Young, an internationally renowned designer. And we have given our greyhound logo a tri-dimensional look only for this store. I am trying to stick to what we are. I don’t want to make big changes, but only move faster to develop the business, for example, in this market.”
The brand is particularly excited by the maturation of Chinese luxury buyers: they are more interested in craftsmanship, quality, and the Italian lifestyle than ever before. And thankfully for Trussardi, their obsession with logos is dying down. Bruno Lannes, partner at Bain in China and the lead author of the China Luxury Market Study, says luxury shoppers in China have gone from “showing off” to “recognizing and learning.” Bain recently polled shoppers in Shanghai and Beijing, and 65 percent said they plan to buy fewer luxuries bearing well-known logos.
What else makes China the optimal place for growth? “Chinese customers are really willing to spend a lot of money on what they want,” Trussardi says. In Europe or the United States it may take at least half an hour to sell a bag that is priced over 1,000 euros ($1,320), while here, Chinese customers are like ‘goal customers’ who don’t bother with money.”
And the Chinese are likely to embrace Trussardi’s business philosophy: “Trussardi is first a family,” the CEO declares. “The identity of Trussardi first comes from a family.”
The brand hopes to open 15 stores in China within the next five years, as well as 15 in the Asia-Pacific region, that will be completely managed by the company. The company now has total managerial control of 25 percent of its stores. Trussardi now has 440 stores in 23 countries.