Today we travelled back to Milan for the last leg of our trip. However, not before three site visits to three companies, all operating outside of Verona. We began at Grupo Sinergia, a shipping company that houses, packages, and ships various products for various different companies. We received a lecture that described the company’s mission and purpose. I was amazed when the lecturer told us that in its many years of operation, Grupo Sinergia has never lost a single client. This dedication to timely delivery and careful product consideration keeps the clients (other companies) happy when their products arrive on time and in one piece. Interested, I asked what happens if a mistake is made and something is broken throughout the various stages of the process, to which he responded by telling me that Grupo Sinergia has its own insurance company to cover the costs of these incidents. He elaborated, saying that the company investigates the situation to see what went wrong and then mends the situation to keep both the client and its customer happy. Next, we received a short tour of the facilities and watched the packaging process in action. Our guide explained that Grupo Sinergia has four different warehouses that ship 3800 SKU’s per day!!
We then walked across the street to Sartoria Cavour, a tailoring company that mostly creates men’s suits. This company is employed by many big-name fashion brands, including Ralph Lauren, but also tailors made to wear suits as well. This small company showed our group tremendous hospitality and kindness while accompanying us around their building. We watched as employees meticulously pieced together elegant garments, all of which eventually would become extremely high-end suits. We then moved into a back room where the president of the company showed our group leader (Frank) the faults in the fit of his jacket and then showed us the process to create ready to wear suits. The company then treated us to a snack of freshly picked strawberries, the freshness of which is unmatched in the USA.
We then ate a delicious pizza lunch and moved to our final visit, Mario Faroni’s knitwear factory. The tour of these facilities was eye-opening to say the least. As we walked on the ground level of the building, I spotted the name Gucci on almost every garment. The guide explained that on any given day the focus will be on one company and today it was Gucci. Unfortunately, pictures were not allowed, because I saw some extremely rare and yet- to- be- released pieces of clothing. On top of the knitting factory is the Mario Faroni school where students come from all over Italy to learn how to sew and design clothing. We even watched one of the students in action as she methodically lined up needles and thread to slowly fashion a masterpiece. Our guide explained that when employed by the most high-end fashion brands in the world, Faroni must only employ the most qualified and experience artisans to handle the luxurious material. The final leg of our tour consisted of visiting the archive where Faroni showed us garments that the company made for Madonna, Armani, and Elton John. He explained that often times, celebrities and designers call him in the middle of the night demanding a certain product by morning. However, with timely and efficient organization, they get the job done. Thus, that is why they serve as one of the most elite knitting companies in Italy. This trip has been a fantastic experience. My eyes have opened up to a new culture with new customs and traditions, all the while witnessing the multi-billion-dollar fashion industry at work.