FURLA’s SS18 Collection is a feast for the eyes!
Fruits of every color you’ll want to sink your teeth into. If your vibe is to stand tall like a pineapple and wear a crown, maybe a pineapple shaped handbag is just the right amount of sweet to compliment your mood. Or if you are craving a healthy dose of vitamin C maybe a few slices displayed on your weekend tote is just what you have been looking for. If life gives you lemons.. show them off on an Instagram worthy crossbody bag!
FURLA, the iconic Italian leather goods retailer, opened the doors last week to their first Las Vegas Boutique in the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace.
If you follow my blog you know that FURLA is one of my favorite handbag designers- my Metropolis Satchel is seen on repeat in my OOTD photos. So OBVIOUSLY I was beyond excited about the opening and was invited to get a sneak peek a few hours before the store opened where I viewed the SS18 Collection and sat down with FURLA CEO of the Americas Scott Link to find out the secret to FURLA’s success.
Q: Until the past few years I think FURLA wasn’t as well known in the US as it was in Europe. Now EVERY girl knows what a Candy Bag is. How do you credit the recent success that FURLA has had in the US Market?
SL: I THINK THE Candy bag really helped because it was one of the first collections with our current designer Fabio. If you look at FURLA’s history our biggest growth has been in the last 6 years since Fabio came aboard. Candy changed FURLA and then Metropolis really put us on the map and the continued playfulness in design themes and staying true to our Italian heritage is the next evolution of it. The US is really to run wild with FURLA. This is a big year for us.
Q: What inspired the Spring Collection?
SL: In Italy Italians are really big about only eating what is in season. The inspiration was centered around fruits of the season in Italy. A nod to our Italian history and heritage. We did it in fun playful ways by mixing fruits with flowers, birds and butterflies and then really punching up the colors of the bags and just having fun with it.
Q: What is THE must-have bag in the collection?
SL: Any of the fruits! They are eye grabbing, fun, colorful and playful. We made a slightly larger version of the classic Metropolis this season because as smart phones are growing ladies are noticing they are having a harder time fitting their phones in their bags so we re-designed to accommodate that need. Our Creative Director’s test of bags is that if he hands you a bag you should smile. If you don’t smile there is more work he needs to do on the bag. I think every bag in this collection brings a smile!
Q: What sets FURLA apart from other brands?
SL: I think it’s that we have a really wonderful tradition and heritage centered around Italy and its craftsmanship which is really important to us. A majority of all of our products are still made in Italy, all of our leathers are Italian leather and as much as it might be easier to change that it is something we stay true to.
Q: How does a classic brand like FURLA stay relevant in a social media fast fashion culture?
SL: One of the things that we are doing is instead of just doing four collections a year we are trying to infuse newness every month. A new story with a 360 view of that story through digital marketing, store windows, the staff training and customer’s newsletters. We have shifted the bulk of our advertising dollars to a digital platform and we launched the FURLA Society which will continue to evolve this year. We love the idea of the characters and the bags intermingling.
Q: You mentioned the FURLA Society, what is it?
SL: We worked with a new agency out of the UK to really take our campaign from print to a more digital platform. It’s about an inclusive luxury. A campaign that everyone can feel a part of. A playfulness centering around how the bags have a life of their own. The bags turn into the people and the people turn into the bags. We love it because we really believe that a bag is an expression of who you are and how you want to be seen in the world. The FURLA Society plays that up.
Q: How do you define luxury?
SL: We focus on “Inclusive Luxury”. At FURLA we say we have “stolen” the best things out of luxury meaning beautiful store designs, beautiful packing and an incredible service level but we place emphasis on that everyone really feels welcome. Whether you are there just to look, buy a $50 key ring or a $1,000 bag you will receive the same type of service and to me that’s what luxury is really all about- making people feel really welcomed no matter what they buy or don’t buy and leaving them with an experience that is memorable and they will share with others.
Q: Why open a boutique in Las Vegas?
SL: Las Vegas is a crossroads of the world. Everyone comes to Vegas from all income levels, all areas of the world and we thought it was the perfect place to really introduce them to the new FURLA. We felt The Forum Shops- maybe because of it’s Italian heritage (LOL)– really worked for us. What we love about The Forum Shops is that it is so inclusive. It has every brand and every demographic in it. It wasn’t just exclusively a luxury retail center. It felt akin to us and our idea of “Inclusive Luxury”.
Q: Men’s line – Furla ZEUS – what is the buzz around this exciting new line?
SL: We launched mens in a very serious way about a year ago and it’s a replica of the womens collection in terms of providing a really great product at an affordable price point but also still having a personality to it. We aren’t doing basic boring work bags. They definitely have personality and character. The Vegas Boutique doesn’t carry FURLA ZEUS because there just isn’t enough space but it is available online and in our New York boutique.
Q: What do we have to look forward to in the Fall collection?
SL: Fall is really exciting. It is centered around strong women and interpreted through sports inspiration. There is a nod to rock climbing, fencing, ice skating and boxing. It was about Fabio speaking to that we think the FURLA woman is a strong woman who has her own ideas. Its subtle in the details- some of the hardware resembles rock climbing hooks and there is also some beautiful silver mesh on some of the bags to represent fencing. It’s really stunning. We are also incorporating some high tech fabrics such as nylon, weatherproofing and quilted down into the bags not just leather. To make the bags more durable and lightweight for an active lifestyle.