Toma Italian Brands: Format in the East and new licences
For Toma Italian Brands, the Apulian men’s clothing group, the coming 2022 promises to be full of many novelties. With a 2020 turnover of around €10 million, 55% in Italy and 45% abroad, the menswear specialist has had a summer season that “has restored confidence, with a turnover that at the end of 2021 will still end up with 70% generated on the Italian market,” Verdiana Toma tells FashionNetwork. com Verdiana Toma, communications and marketing manager and fourth generation of the family that founded the clothing group in Sava, in the province of Taranto, created by brothers Salvatore and Sergio Toma (they represent the third generation), which also includes the company Gruppo Sviluppo Tessile (GST), which includes the brand Havana & Co.
“In Italy we created space in the shops where we were already present, thanks to the failures of some competitors and the proximity shown to customers,” continues Toma, “and we entered new shops that had been ‘abandoned’ by our competitors who were unable to meet delivery times. Our being 100% Italian producers has also rewarded us because we have always managed to deliver to our customers very quickly. We hope, however, that the foreign market will start up again soon, because it will give us further important growth margins.
Founded after the Second World War by Verdiana Toma’s great-grandparents, and culminating in the founding of Gruppo Sviluppo Tessile in 1994, the Toma Italian Brands group is proud of its strong anchorage to the Puglia region. “We have always believed in Made in Italy, even when the general trend was to delocalise production. We produce 100% made in Italy (and 70% Made in Puglia),” continues the marketing manager. “After all, we are 40 kilometres from the production centre par excellence for outerwear in Martina Franca and 40 kilometres from Salento, where the big names come to produce. An approach that has proved rewarding over time, which has also enabled us to keep alive local workshops and professionalism that are unfortunately disappearing, as well as strengthening the brand’s credibility with end customers”.
Also owned by the group are the Angelo Toma brands, a line of groom and formal wear, and Angelo Toma Celebrity. “The label, which bears my grandfather’s name, is particularly popular on foreign markets. Each brand, in order not to cannibalise itself internally, relies on different price ranges and stylistic moods,” explains Verdiana Toma, emphasising the inconveniences arising from the generalised problem of rising raw material and transport costs suffered by the sector in 2021. “For the production of the Fall-Winter 2022 collection, we have absorbed the price increases that our material suppliers have suffered and had to list, without asking an extra euro from our customers. Today, for the Fall-Winter 2022 sample collection, our prices are confirmed until 31 December. In January, we can only hope that costs will remain stable or show minimal increases, otherwise we will have to rethink our price lists. We are aware that this growth will come to a halt, and we hope it will happen soon. We almost cancelled our margins on Spring-Summer 2022 so as not to burden our distributor retailers, but we will certainly not be able to repeat this, especially in a context of average Italian salaries remaining stable. There are many uncertainties, but also positive signs, in this economic phase.
With all its labels, Toma Italian Brands creates total looks for men. With Havana & Co. the company has always been recognised as a manufacturer of men’s suits and outerwear, but over the years the group has gradually added all the other product categories, from trousers to knitwear and shirts (for which Ungaro is renowned).
In any case, Toma Italian Brands is planning to acquire other licences, one of which is apparently on the point of arrival with a foreign brand. “The group’s idea in the long term is to increase its production capacity and awareness also in international markets,” says Verdiana Toma. Toma Italian Brands decided to focus exclusively on menswear, “because it has always been our core business and we felt that specialising in a sector that offers more room for manoeuvre than womenswear, which is saturated to the point of being unbelievable, would give us better results. And that is what happened.
Havana & Co. which accounts for 30% of the total turnover of the Apulian company, is currently widespread throughout Italy, and ‘spot’ in the European market, and is still well present in China, Japan and other Asian markets. Around 350 points of sale distribute it in Italy and a hundred or so in the rest of the world, while Ungaro has a 50% distribution in Italy and 50% abroad, with a very extensive distribution in Europe (France first and foremost, of course) and Angelo Toma, also because of its concept linked to the ceremony, is on the other hand a label totally distributed in Italy.
“We don’t particularly believe in the formula of the classic single-brand shop, with its high fixed costs,” explains Verdiana Toma. “So much so that during the pandemic we worked on a format in which Toma Italian Brands becomes a multi-brand container for the brands owned and licensed within our group. Many shops in malls in China, Russia and the Emirates closed with the pandemic. Those who own these spaces are trying to give them a new lease of life. With this in mind, we have thought of filling these spaces again with the Toma Italian Brands sign. We are proposing the idea to some international partners and it is currently being evaluated. Russian cities or the effervescent Dubai are our first targets”.
From: Fashion Network