Dear Mr. Renzo ROSSO, Chairman of OTB Group, Dear Ms. Barbara CALÒ, CEO of MARNI, Dear Mr. Tadashi MOGI, Director-General for Commerce and Service Industry Policy, METI, Dear Mr. Masaaki TAKEI, Mayor of Minato Ward, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Buonasera and welcome to the Residence of the Italian Ambassador in Japan! My wife Sabina and I are delighted to host this event in collaboration with the luxury Italian fashion brand Marni and the “Only The Brave” Group (OTB) on the occasion of the world premiere of Marni’s Fall collection.
I could not think of a better location than this Residence to celebrate the triumph of cultures, colors and arts that we can find in any Marni’s creations.
As the 30th anniversary of the Milan-based brand approaches, Marni confirms to be an indisputable example of Italian creativity and elegance. Since its launch in 1994 by Consuelo Castiglioni, the brand has maintained its innovative and multifaceted identity while holding an avant-garde spirit.
Curious, sophisticate and subtly subversive as many experts say, Marni has become over the years a protagonist in the fashion industry, displaying the excellence of Made in Italy worldwide and, in particular, in Japan.
This has been possible also thanks to the incredible work done by Francesco Risso, Marni’s Creative Director, who is here with us tonight. Buonasera Francesco e grazie di essere qui.
Francesco and his team contributed to applying an experimental and constantly evolving approach to materials and fabrics, ushering Marni into the historical era of the “Re-evolution”: a continuous process of discovering and readjusting the reality by anticipating future trends.
In this perspective, while keeping its iconic and unique brand identity, Marni has been looking towards promising markets, and Japan has been one of the Marni’s top destinations for new investments and fashion experiments, inspiring since the very beginning creative collaborations.
The very fruitful partnership with Uniqlo is just the latest success story in the extraordinary liaison between Marni and this wonderful country. By performing a wonderful dialogue between the Italian elegance and the world of Japanese art, Uniqlo and Marni playfully explored the clash between purity and chaos, combining originality and modernity and mixing tradition and innovation.
No wonder that many Japanese customers in Japan and Italian clients in Italy, especially the young generations, have appreciated very much the Uniqlo-Marni original productions (including myself!) such as the HEATTECH t-shirts and the iconic furoshiki scarves, which merge Marni’s Italian taste and Kawanabe Kyōsai’s design.
This success has been turning Japan into a relevant source of inspiration and, at the same time, into a strategic business destination for the Milan-based brand. More than 20 years have passed since the first Marni’s store opened in Tokyo and today, with its almost 30 stores all around Japan, this market accounts for 23 percent of total sales globally for the brand.
While I am sincerely confident that new opportunities will come up for Marni as well as for many other Italian companies in the fashion industry operating in Japan, let me conclude by quoting a famous OTB sentence: “building not the biggest, but the most alternative fashion group”.
In whishing Marni the best success for their premiere of the Fall collection tomorrow, I invite you all to raise your glasses and make a toast to Marni, the Made in Italy in Japan and the strong friendship between our countries!