Ciao for the last time as this is the last blog post of the trip. Our last day started with an early morning as usual, but the last one of that too. I am honestly extremely sad this trip is coming to an end so soon, as I have made friends and had experiences I will never forget. Although this was the last “structured” day, it was very busy with three company visits. But talk about saving the best for last…
Our first company visit was at a logistics company called Gruppo Sinergia. Gruppo Sinergia is a full-service logistics provider for every step of the supply chain for online ordering. They conduct all the activities like shipping, packaging, customer service, distribution, warehouse management, process efficiency, and tracking for their client’s products. Their customers come from a wide network of food, fashion, energy, and even marketplace companies. While this sounds like Amazon, which is very popular in the United States, it is slightly more expensive because they value customer service and personalization rather than efficiency which can be attributed to their grand success. In over ten years Gruppo Sinergia has not lost a single client. However, they are not a very sustainable company, as they package with mainly paper and plastic, which might cause issues for them in the future as the environment is a growing concern in the fashion and packaging industry.
The next company we visited was Sartoria Cavour. Sartoria Cavour is a high quality, family owned, men’s wear (mainly suits and dress shirts) company. They produce products for individuals (made to measure), industrial stores (Ralph Lauren and Dolce & Gabbanna), chain stores, and smaller brand artisan shops. In the Sartoria Cavour building we visited today, they conduct all tailoring work from start to finish divided by the type of fabric. The fabric ranges from wool to silk to an up and coming bamboo. In this building there were numerous sewing stations where the artisans construct, clean, and put together jackets, tops, and pants from fabric to final good. This company reminded me of the American company Bonobos that customizes and tailors there suits to create the “perfect fit” for men, however it is a much bigger chain than Sartoria Cavour.
Our final company visit was to MF1, or Mario Foroni 1. This company does all the processes including IT, programming, designing, and knitting all in the one office we visited. It is necessary that they be able to complete all these steps in a quick and timely manner, while still keeping their extremely nice quality, because their clients could possibly ask for a garment at any time. Keeping all their own yarn in factory allows them to keep this efficiency and stricter supply chain in regards to the production process. At MF1 they are able to produce their own MF1 label products as well as produce for clients such as luxury brands (Gucci, Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen, Chanel, Versace just to name a few) or direct clients (Madonna, Elton John, etc). It was fascinating to see and learn about all the machines that ensure the high quality of the goods they produce, like the circular knitwear machines for example. We ended this company visit by taking a look at their school that is mainly an investment center for their own knowledge and equipment, like old machines, that allows students to enter the fashion design world in such a powerful fashion company. However, looking at the archives of vintage Chanel and Versace sweaters was definitely the most jaw dropping part, as I could see the similarities and differences from past to present of brands I follow so closely.
This trip has been an unbelievable experience that has helped me gain so much insight into the fashion world in one of the most fashion-centric countries in the world, Italy. The cultural visits, the company visits, and even building friendships in this setting has been unforgettable. I am sad to go back home but know I can take everything I have learned with me and share it with others. Arrivaderci!