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My Fashion Life: Giulio Colombo, CEO, Colmar

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For Giulio Colombo, CEO of Italian sportswear brand Colmar, innovation and honesty are key to his family business

Colmar X Au Jour le Jour

Colmar X Au Jour le Jour

Colmar X Au Jour le Jour

Originally founded in 1923 by Mario Colombo, Italian sportswear brand Colmar has a long heritage in creating sport, ski and golfing goods. Giulio Colombo, Mario’s grandson, now sits at the helm of the business. He talks to Drapers about his lifelong love of product, maintaining the company’s family heritage and his passion for cycling. 

What’s your background? How did you become interested in fashion?

I achieved a masters degree in economics at Milan’s Bocconi University Luigi. My grandfather founded Colmar in 1923, and the second generation of my family developed the business to manage the company. Therefore, I have always been involved in the clothing business since I was very young.

 

How would you describe the ethos of the brand?

The ethos of Colmar is inspired by honesty and respect towards all the people working with us: workers and employees, clients and suppliers. Seriousness and correctness are the basis of our daily work.

Colmar Autumn 17

Colmar Autumn 17

Colmar Autumn 17

Colmar Autumn 17

Colmar Autumn 17

Colmar Autumn 17

The brand is focused on active and outdoor gear – are you a fan of outdoor sports yourself?

Yes, I’m a fan of having an active and healthy life. I’m an avid cyclist and I practise different skiing disciplines: alpine ski, cross-country ski and ski touring. I also like to sail on race boats.

How do you maintain the heritage of the brand?

Maintaining Colmar’s brand heritage is part of our everyday work: that DNA is the “Pole star” that is leading us in all activities, starting with the product creation and development.

What are some of the challenges you face on a day-to-day basis?

The big challenge is to be innovative. We must evolve and innovate, not only with our product – creating new concepts, new materials and new styles – but we also have to find new ways to interact with the market, both upstream and downstream. Creativity is not only a matter of product: it must be part of every company process. We are investing a lot of resources in research and development, because only continuous development can guarantee the survival of the company.

Colmar x Au Jour Le Jour

Colmar x Au Jour Le Jour

Colmar x Au Jour Le Jour

What has been your career highlight?

My whole career has been dedicated to Colmar, with a special focus on the product development. The fact that our company is a family business has made me, since I was a student, interested in the life of our organisation, and how the business was a part of the life of our family.

Colmar x Au Jour Le Jour

Colmar x Au Jour Le Jour

Colmar x Au Jour Le Jour

How do you keep yourself motivated on a day-to-day basis?

The challenges that we have to face every day are my motivations. We have to concentrate on an unstopped growth of the company: every goal we reach is great motivation to go on.

Do you have any favourite products from your time with Colmar?

My favourite products are the ones from the Colmar Originals collection: they are born from a brilliant idea and they perfectly interpret a modern way of living, mixing fashion elements with our sport heritage.

What is your favourite thing about your job?

I have always been involved with the product creation and, even today, my favourite thing is to work on our collections with total commitment.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned as you’ve gone through your career?

Never betray the values of the company you work for, because they are a big asset and the key to success.

 

Snap Chat

Favourite clothing brand

Colmar

Favourite places to shop

Milan

Last fashion purchase

Matsumoto shirt

Last holiday

Côte D’Azur

Last book you read

Open: An Autobiography by Andre Agassi

Last film you watched

A James Bond film

First job

Assistant product manager, Colmar

Dream job

Architect or industrial designer

What would we find you doing at the weekend

Cycling and more cycling

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