Accessible Luxury: Where is Furla’s stand?

The Italian Brand’s Growth And Innovation Strategy Making Accessible Luxury A Success

Sectors & Markets

31 May, 2023

Table of contents

Accessible luxury is the main focus for many brands to tap into, especially in the emerging markets, where the middle class is increasing and is looking forward to being associated with the rich class. As upscale brands cannot be afforded at this stage the need for accessible luxury becomes obvious. The main competing force facing this sector of brands are the diffusion lines that many luxury labels such as Giorgio Armani S.p.A. and Marc Jacobs introduced to also cater to this middle class that is willing to compromise quality for the sake of logos.

Despite the presence of those big players, accessible luxury brands gain advantage through their presence in the market as the main diffusing line. This fact psychologically reassures the customer that they are getting the optimal designs and quality and not just the entry-level price point. Several names such as Tory Burch, Michael Kors, Coach, and Furla, among others, stand out in the accessible luxury accessory market. They are all looking to grow in this segment and take advantage of its full potential.

Furla is an Italian label that spans a heritage of more than 90 years, the brand was launched in 1927 by Aldo Furlanetto and Margherita Furlanetto. Furla is recognized globally for its value-for-quality leather goods and wide range of accessories. Unlike its American counterparts, Furla has the advantage of being an Italian brand. After all, most luxury brands manufacture in Italy for obvious reasons of skilled craftsmanship as well as high quality raw material produced in its various specialised districts. Furla being a family business but run in a multinational environment is aware of this fact and plans to capitalise upon it.

Furla's significant initiatives include the launch of sustainable and playful bag collections, social media campaigns, investments in modern art, and a change in top-level management, all of which have a positive impact on business growth. The sales of Furla S.p.A. grew from 184 millions euros in 2011 to 306 millions euros in 2021. 2018 recorded its highest turnover of 513 millions euros.

In 2008 Giovanna Furlanetto launched Fondazione Furla, aimed at encouraging and promoting contemporary culture in Italy.

In 2020 Furla opened an official account on TikTok and joined forces to launch #furladance, a new project dedicated to dance and colour. The project established an exclusive partnership with TikTok and Furla and Maino both released special choreography with original music which gives the community an opportunity to participate and experience the brand at a purely fun pace. The move was made in order to connect with the Gen Z that are hyperactive on Tiktok. The campaign created a viral moment both the brand and fans could share, with 124M+ video views coming from 127K+ entries.

The brand in April 2022 decided to give life to a new futuristic headquarters right in the heart of Chianti, Tuscany called Furla Progetto Italia, a creative and productive hub, whose architecture and sustainable look blends with the beauty of the surrounding landscape.

Furla unveiled ‘Bloom Bags’ in early 2022 which comes in 10 different shades and is sustainable, playful and intentional. It encourages women to flourish and go after what they want and is inspired by Indian-Canadian poet Rupi Kaur's quote, “Bloom beautifully, dangerously, loudly, bloom softly, however you need just bloom”. The body of the bag is made of a biodegradable paper fabric and paired with a recycled acrylic chain-style strap to give it a playful edge.

In September 2022 The new metropolis bag by Furla was launched in the market. With the Metropolis Remix, Furla wants to fight the gender gap in music. The brand has partnered with She Is The Music, a non-profit organisation founded by Alicia Keys in 2018 to grow the number of women working in music and to nurture the next generation of women in music. Customers who bought the bag to support the educational programs of She Is The Music during Milan Fashion Week witnessed all the proceeds of the sale donated to the organisation.

Furla also appointed Giorgio Presca as chief executive officer in September 2022. The announcement comes after Devis Bassetto held the position temporarily, since April, following the exit of CEO Mauro Sabatini. This appointment also stands to highlight the whole family's willingness to continue with the full control of the business and lead it into the future. Most recently, Presca was the chief executive officer of Clarks. Prior to that, he was CEO of Golden Goose, Geox and Citizens of Humanity. He has also held executive positions for several international brands including Diesel and Levi's.

Cover Image: Courtesy Furla Facebook page