We have recently met Sabina Zabberoni, Owner & Executive Buyer at the up-market boutique Julian Fashion. In an interview, Sabina has told us about the world and dynamics of one of the most unique stores in the Italian Retail market.
When was Julian Fashion boutique inaugurated?
The first Julian Fashion boutique was opened in 1959 in Milano Marittima (Italy), with a clear recalling to its founder’s name, i.e., my father name was Giuliano Zabberoni. Fascinated by the most creative aspects of fashion and always projected towards innovation, he decided to open another store in Ravenna in the mid ’60s. During the course of the years, with his new partner Anzia Alici, and later with my collaboration, the business has focused and consolidated on the luxury-shops based in Milano Marittima.
Today, next to the two long-established stores denominated “Julian Fashion Woman” and “Julian Fashion Man”, in 2016 we have added a new store – “Maison J”.
The company is run by me and Anzia Alici, Owner & General Manager, in collaboration with my daughter, Giulia Tondini, who has the role of Chief Commercial Officer, and who has contributed to give a modern vision to the sales organization with the launch of an E-commerce site in 2014, and positioning our business in 2012 on Farfetch – the well-known marketplace.
Today, Julian Fashion is a leading company in the Luxury multi-brand Retail market, and it is registered to the Italian Chamber of Fashion Buyers, as well as being part of the national network of the up-market stores denominated “THE BEST SHOPS”.
Who chooses to buy at Julian Fashion? What are the customer profile, genre and nationality?
We can distinguish our clientele by choosing our two sales channels: the Web Site and the Stores.
As far as the online channel is concerned, our target customers are the global market persons with an age between 25 and 44 years. 70% of our customers are women, while the remaining 30% are men. Our top market is represented by Japan, followed by the United Kingdom, Hong Kong and the United States.
It is important to highlight that each market has its own characteristics, with different dynamics and choices.
For example, Japanese customers like to be offered a refined and recognizable packaging, while the online Italian customers attach great importance to the telephone service of our Customer Care Specialist, and they love to be pampered.
Regarding our Stores, our clientele is different with respect to that of our Web Site, and it is possible to identify two distinct target customers.
On the one hand, we have men and women aged between 35 and 60 years, who are generally represented by businessmen or entrepreneurs in varied sectors, but also professionals; on the other, thanks to the selection of young and contemporary products, we are attracting target customers aged between 20 and 25 years, who are typically represented by the daughters of our customer base, and young fashion addicted coming from all over Italy.
As a matter of fact, Italy remains among one of our main country markets (with customers coming from Emilia-Romagna Region or from Milan, especially), but we can also count on regular customers from Monte Carlo and on many tourists during the summer season as well.
Today, Julian Fashion is a leading company in the luxury multi-brand retail market and is registered at the Italian Chamber of Fashion Buyers.
How has the sales system changed during the Sixties and in today’s digital era?
The Retail market is now experiencing a revolutionary change which has radically transformed in a few years, and which is continuing to revolutionise the way the customers think about and buy fashion.
E-commerce and social media are becoming a determining aspect in shopping. One of the solutions elaborated by us to keep the pace with the times has been the synergy between all the online activities and the physical stores, to offer to our customers a shopping experience designed to complete the online shopping experience.
To cope with the global market challenges, we have chosen to merge real shopping with the digital one.
On this respect, we must add that we feel very lucky both for the remarkable tourist competitive advantage and for the great loyalty proved by our long-term customers. We continue to be particularly strong in the “traditional” Retail market – the physical store that is of primary importance for us. Undoubtedly, the winning factors of this channel remain the human interaction, the pleasure of touching, seeing and trying clothes on before purchasing them, but also the possibility of wearing the new articles soon after having paid for them.
Together with the sales system, the concept of fashion and luxury is also evolving by becoming more and more digital and faster. This implies a strong attention for all what is new – a continuous search for renowned brands at a global level, but that are difficult to find at a local level as they offer niche products. We strongly believe in our search at an international level and our customers choose us for this reason as well; they trust our choices, Julian’s world and our search.
How would you imagine Julian Fashion 2030?
In 2030, I think that our Retail business is going to be even more integrated with the online activity.
My dream is that, in the future, our customers, by entering our Web Site, can feel the same sensation they have by entering our stores, experimenting the same emotional shopping experience.
On the other hand, the customers walking in our stores will have the same feeling of buying through an international channel like E-commerce: with the availability of a wide range of articles coming from all over the world, an innovative location with a “worldwide” touch and style, as well as the digital technology required for a multimedia kind of shopping.
I would really like that Julian Fashion becomes a gateway towards international fashion and the customer can access it by experimenting the same identical shopping experience in all our channels.