An encounter between heritage and future.
Innovation, art and fashion. The assignation of these three concepts characterized Cristina Pedrotti’s speech, the guest of the first conference organized by the Luxury Society in Turin. We had the pleasure to meet this young, ambitious woman (she is only 25), full of determination and passion, who, just six months ago, has started her own business: a collection of luxury leather jackets with enlightened patches.
To discover more about Maison Matì and how she has developed this new fashion brand, we had a little chat with her.
So, Cristina, how did everything start?
I was at a showroom with a friend and there were all these products made in luminous optical fibre. Suddenly came the idea to apply them on the fabric through a patch with a battery. I wanted to give the effect of the lights of New York’s skyline to my jacket and the optical fibre was perfect to serve this purpose.
However, initially it was not easy at all, because no one knew how it worked and whether it was really possible to apply the optical fibre on a fabric. Some difficulties were, for example, where to put the battery to lighten up the patch with the optical fibre or how to wash the jacket. But in the end the product came out and it was something really innovative.
What was one of the greatest challenge you had to manage?
At the beginning, it was the relationship with the optical fibre supplier and the fear of the concurrence, that somebody could steal my idea. It is very expensive to get a patent in Italy to protect a new brand, so I had to decide between paying to safeguard it or promoting it.
I opted for the second choice, but I succeeded in getting a certain protection thanks to my supplier. It is a famous company, who has a brevet in that kind of optical fibre and we made an agreement, so that they would not share my designs and creations, while I will continue my partnership with them. In this way, I got a certain protection for my creations.
You’re still at the beginning of your journey, how did you promote your jackets? Which is your target customer?
I am a lucky person, since I know many people and I have a charismatic personality. To promote my product I went to New York, where I met Andrea Denver, a blogger with more than 1.2 million followers. He was so excited about my idea that he decided to help me in doing the promotional campaign at a very low cost.
Furthermore, I had the opportunity to know Giulia Delillo, a fashion blogger, who accepted to share photos of herself wearing my jacket. In the end, She and I went to Paris, where I had my first fashion event at Hotel de Crillon, to launch my product.
Another surprise was encountering the rapper Future Hendrix, who wore my jacket during his concert in London.
This crowd represents my target customer: young people, who care for fashion and have a high income.
Besides, I decided to create my society in London, because of the intercultural environment that characterized the city. I feel that the eclectic London, with its mix of subcultures, can better understand and appreciate my creations, rather than Italy. But for the future, I hope to have a great success in my home country, as well.
Which are the difficulties about entering the luxury world?
It is extremely hard. I decided to bring a product of very superior quality to the market. This implies high production costs and consequently a high mark-up price for the client. I have to spend a lot both for having the best fabrics and to create the product, which contains to apply the patch. However, the final result is of a very high value, which justifies the luxurious price for the customer.
On the other side, I think, we have the idea that, what is expensive is of good quality and it is consequently luxurious, and I want to place my brand in this category, which is another reason behind my jacket premium price.
Additionally, I decided to use a distribution strategy which induces the idea of scarcity and uniqueness of my jacket to the potential customers. I want them to see it as a piece of art. For this reason, I do not do e-commerce on my website and I only sell my product in a few selected boutiques.
What about your future goals?
I will soon launch my next collection, in which I will change both the theme of the patches, and the way I use the optical fibre: indeed, I will use an embroidery instead of the patch, which will allow the jacket to be washed in an easier way. Moreover, I would like my product to stay unique. For this reason, my next step is to render it customizable, so that my customers can decide every single detail of their jacket, from the colour to the type of fabric to the design of the patch.
Even though it will be difficult, I am determined to realize these projects and to show them in an important fashion showroom next year. For me, this will be an incredible occasion to showcase my jackets, so every detail has to be perfect.
One last question Cristina. You are a young entrepreneur: which suggestion, can you give to the people who would like to follow the same path and launch their own idea?
Not to allow negative thoughts and downfalls to let you down. Always stay positive and passionate and pay attention to the people you trust.