Describe your style in three words...
Classic, functional, timeless
Functional and chic – how do you achieve that? Can you let us in on your style secret?
We create bags designed to be chic in the first instance, then we think about how we can make them functional, because nobody’s going to buy a bag that’s super-functional but that’s let down by its looks.
What’s more important to you – design or functionality?
For us, functionality is as vital as design, and vice-versa! See above.
How do your designs manage to stay absolutely modern and up-to-date without moving ahead too quickly for customers or lagging too far behind?
We want the designs we create to be timeless classics. As well as these we produce four collections a year – including ‘highlight pieces’ in new colours and materials that correspond to seasonal trends. In so doing we supplement our ‘classic’ NOS range, ensuring it never gets passé. These styles are only available for a short period.
What does the woman you design for look like? What does she do? What sort of lifestyle does she lead?
We design for the independent woman, one who follows her own goals and her chosen path with a real sense of purpose. The women we appeal to don't fall into a particular professional or age-related demographic therefore. The woman in our target demographic is looking for a bag she can use all day long and that is designed to meet her needs. She no longer has to choose between design and functionality. MH takes away this dilemma!
What drives you? What is your intended mission, or what statement will your customers make by carrying the bags you design? Which philosophy are you aiming to embody and articulate with your brand?
We believe that the convergence of work and leisure time is shaping the lives of modern women. They are never far from their notebooks or tablets. If, though, they want to accentuate their elegance continually, up until this point they were faced witha problem. This is because a bag that was both functional and also made a fashion statement simply didn't exist. We are filling this gap: our designs are arm candy and organisational heroes in one, the perfect accessory for modern heroines 24/7. Ideal for a morning meeting, first-class flight, or after-work drinks. Marta Vitali, who lives in Milan, is responsible for our timeless, Italian look. She has also worked as a bag designer for Armani, among others. We place great emphasis on using high-quality Italian leather and manufacturing our bags in a third-generation, family-run business.
For us, every woman is a heroine: we want to create products that highlight every woman’s character and personality.
Where do your priorities lie at present – in the online or offline business? Or are both justified?
We believe that omni-channel and a cross-channel business model is the right way for us to go. Unlike many young brands, right from the start we positioned our stationary retail business as a central part of our business model, alongside our online shop. We try to cater to the needs of our trade partners, for example by developing our NOS classics range – this offering has already enabled us to win some crucial accounts.
Customer retention: how do you succeed in building a connection with your customers and retaining them, too?
We try to inspire our customers with new products and colours, and we are also constantly expanding our product range. In addition, we communicate with customers using traditional CRM methods like newsletters, etc. Of course we also make use of social media like facebook or Instagram. Plus, there are explanatory video clips on our website that explain the bags’ features. We regularly put on pop-up events in selected cities. One area that we want to develop further is artistic collaborations; in 2018 we produced a scarf collection with a designer from Emilio Pucci. We already have some exciting new projects in the pipeline.
What are your hopes for the future? What are your goals?
Our vision is that any woman looking for a functional, chic bag will first think of Maison Héroïne. In addition, we want to continue to build our brand world and expand into other product categories. Our next planning goal is to enter the small leather goods category; then t-shirts and hoodies will follow. We also want to further develop our scarf category. One important objective is to strengthen activities with great influencers and build on brand collaborations. International expansion is likewise on the agenda.