Furla’s creative director, Fabio Fusi, on Italian style, brand heritage and his artistic inspirations.
Florence-born Fabio Fusi has been creative director of the heritage Italian accessories brand Furla since 2010. With a wealth of experience working as a designer at prestigious fashion houses including Salvatore Ferragamo, Dolce & Gabbana and Cartier, he spoke to Drapers about his role at Furla, his design inspirations and the secret to Italian heritage style.
How did you start out at Furla?
Before I joined as creative director in 2010, I was invited to Bologna to visit the company – it’s based in a beautiful villa – and I fell in love with both the project and the company. It has a very long heritage, 90 years, but also was projecting into the future.
What were you doing before you were at Furla?
I was a designer. I worked for several companies including Salvatore Ferragamo, Etro, Dolce & Gabbana and Cartier.
How does what you do now compare to design?
The team is everything. Creating the right team to build something great together requires a lot of trust. I can’t spend all of my time on a single project, so now there is always someone who can also understand what we need to do.
furla 90th anniversary group shot 2
What are some of your inspirations?
The customer comes first, so we look at people’s attitudes and what’s happening around the world. It’s also important to look at what’s happening in the art, design and architectural scenes, because designers and artists have a sensibility that’s ahead of people on the street.
My inspirations are a mix of artistic and industry based. For example, the spring 17 collection is all about travelling around the southern hemisphere. So you can find ”ethnic” influences in the collection, but that’s mixed with contemporary design.
It’s important to figure out how to translate inspirations from what was happening in the past into something that looks to the future.
Furla spring 17
How would you describe Italian style?
Italian style is about loving the details and looking at a product and how it’s made. There’s also a joyful attitude to life and to the product, which we try to translate into Furla’s designs with the use of colour.
Are there any Furla designs that are particularly significant for you?
The Metropolis was a big turning point for us. It’s our bestselling bag. We launched it three years ago and it’s amazing because it’s the simplest bag in the world. I liked the bag a lot, from the moment we created it, but I couldn’t have guessed it would be so popular. Last year we produced around 1 million of the Metropolis bag.
How do you keep yourself motivated in your day-to-day work?
I always try to be doing something new that is exciting: finding new solutions, experimenting and discovering.
What are some of the day-to-day challenges you face?
To keep maintaining both creativity and good financial results to high standards.The company is doing extremely well and so being able to match what we have done the day, week or month before is challenging.
furla metropolis brompton 3
How do you unwind?
I spend a lot of time with my family and try not to think about work too much. I like sports a lot, so I go jogging or ride bicycles. I read a lot, about the things I love – architecture and interior design.
What’s the best business advice you’ve been given?
Always try to do better. Sometimes you think you’ve created something amazing and someone else tells you that you need to do better. At that point it’s difficult to hear and you feel unstable, but it’s a great goal to have for the future.
Favourite clothing brand
Favourite places to shop
I like both vintage and modern shops – in New York I like the Meatpacking district and NoLIta
Last fashion purchase
I bought a pair of sneakers