” ITALIA INDEPENDENT
IS A BRAND OF CREATIVITY AND STYLE FOR INDEPENDENT
PEOPLE THAT COMBINES
FASHION AND DESIGN,
TRADITION, AND INNOVATION ”
– MATTEO MOHWINCKEL
“ ITALIA INDEPENDENT
IS A BRAND OF CREATIVITY AND STYLE FOR INDEPENDENT
PEOPLE THAT COMBINES
FASHION AND DESIGN,
TRADITION, AND INNOVATION ”
– MATTEO MOHWINCKEL
Matteo Mohwinckel, is the International Sales Director at Italia Independent, a listed company that is one of the top sunglass and eyeglass frame design and distribution companies. It boasts numerous commercial collaborations, including companies whose core business is not eyewear, thanks to its expertise in product design. Italia Independent is an independent model that focuses on creative ability, qualitative product development, and wholesale distribution. The Indian Optician recently got an opportunity to have a brief chat with Matteo and get an insight about the reputed company. Read on to learn more about this celebrated brand…..
The Indian Optician (TIO): Let us start with a brief introduction of yourself. You are presently serving Italia Independent as the International sales director. What do your current responsibilities entail?
Matteo Mohwinckel (MM): Since October 2020, I have been responsible for the distribution of our collections worldwide, research, selection, and management of new distributors and key accounts. I have also been directly handling the management of the sales force for all the markets.
TIO: You do have a vast experience in the optical sector! Could you please share a brief profile of your company for the benefit of our readership?
MM: Founded by Lapo Elkann, Italia Independent was launched on 9th January 2007 during Pitti Uomo (a bi-annual gathering that draws varied retailers, among other enthusiasts, from around the globe for fashion, accessory collections etc) in Florence. Italia Independent is a brand of creativity and style for independent people that combines fashion and design, tradition, and innovation.
Italia Independent’s portfolio includes the brands owned by Italia Independent and Laps Collection, as well as licensed brands: Hublot (LVMH group) and CR7 – Cristiano Ronaldo (debuting in the eyewear sector).
Italia Independent Group was listed in June 2013. In that same year, it won the Ernst & Young award for ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’, having taken a short number of years to achieve a measure of success in a traditional industry, thanks to an ability to work on the uniqueness of its products and its promotion of beauty as a key factor in the success of Made in Italy products.
Italia Independent received recognition from MIT Technology Review Italia, the Italian edition of the authoritative Massachusetts Institute of Technology magazine dedicated to technological innovation. Our brand was included in the ‘2014 Top Most 10 Innovative Italian companies in the “Smart & Disruptive” category. The award acknowledged the results achieved in the field of research and innovation by Italia Independent, the first company in the world to introduce the velvet effect on eyewear. In 2014, Italia Independent and Hublot signed a multi-year, synergistic agreement for the manufacture of a series of products in their respective fields of excellence. The collection included glasses and watches with stylistic and technical cutting-edge features. Such characteristics are capable of exploiting the know-how of the two companies that worked together during the development. The project was unveiled at a press conference held in Baselworld in March 2014.
I can also summarise the journey of Italia Independent in one line – “Being independent means writing your own story every day”!
TIO: The last couple of years have been very tough for everyone, including the eyewear industry. What challenges did Italia Independent face and overcome during this period?
MM: The pandemic period has been difficult for us too. We have done everything possible to stay in close virtual contact with all our partners. With continuous efforts, we keep our service as efficient and fast as possible.
TIO: You have an illustrious brand portfolio. Kindly give us an insight into your licensed brands – Hublot eyewear and CR-7 eyewear. What is the USP of these brands?
MM: One of our brands is CR7 Eyewear – A contemporary, young, and fresh brand inspired by the attitude of Cristiano Ronaldo, a champion of style on and off the pitch
The CR7 Eyewear collections are characterised by a search for details that celebrate the legend of world football; models capable of skilfully combining with any type of look for a style that won’t go unnoticed. The collection was launched with a bang and already has quite a strong presence worldwide in over 70 countries.
The other licensed brand is Hublot Eyewear – A Swiss luxury watchmaking brand with a sophisticated and distinctive charm, characterised by a unique style, full of timeless allure and free of passing fashions. Founded in 1989 by Carlo Cracco, nowadays it belongs to the French holding LVMH.
The Hublot eyewear by Italia Independent collections masterfully and elegantly combine classic and contemporary elements. It includes details that tell of the incredible history of one of the world’s leading companies in the luxury watch sector.
TIO: What made you choose Pramukh Optical in particular as your brand partner? How far has this association succeeded in growing your eyewear brands in our country?
MM: We choose our official distributors with great care. They have to adhere to the norms of our selection criteria formulated with the aim to keep the distribution and the image of the brand very selective.
We are glad to be working with Pramukh Opticals – the team is very dedicated to its work. Whatever commitment they make, they always fulfill on time. Pramukh Opticals has very strong marketing resources, a dedicated and hardworking team, and their customer relations are also really good. We have recently given them two brands, Hublot and CR7, and we are very happy with the results. We look forward to working more closely with them. We have even awarded them the “Best Performing Company” for their outstanding performance.
TIO: That’s wonderful! How has the Indian optical community responded to the Hublot eyewear and CR-7 eyewear brands that are marketed by Pramukh Optical?
MM: I am proud to say that our brands have received a good response in the Indian market. That is in fact the reason why we have awarded Pramukh the title mentioned above. The serious and dedicated work of our partner, Pramukh Optical, has been quite helpful in generating successful results in the Indian market.
TIO: Last but not least, what would be your advice for fashion companies and brands trying to enter the Indian luxury eyewear market?
MM: India is a very interesting and growing market. The relationship with a proper local partner is crucial to have proper and serious distribution in this market. So, forge ahead with such strategies in tow.
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