Jim Thompson is a little bit of a nationwide champion, and everybody had been ready for us to wake up and come to a more contemporary level, says Mr Mazzalovo.
‘Do not write about me,” he says. “I haven’t got a mannequin life. I don’t suppose it is worth writing about one thing that is in some way banal: I simply have a very good life, a superb wife and an unbiased head.”
His voice strikes in a cadence marked by the remnants of his French accent, which appears to squeeze the later half of most each word.
“Ferragamo, Gucci, Louis Vuitton,” his raspy voice hurries to finish off, “we’re on the identical stage of luxurious.”
The man, invariably framed in dark swimsuit, darkish shirt, and ample scruff, is Gerald Mazzalovo. As for the brands he rattled off, they are amongst those he presided over before taking the top place at Jim Thompson, the luxury Thai silk firm, last 12 months.
Mr Mazzalovo made a name for himself as an avid supporter of heritage-based brand equity, and pushed companies like Loewe to the worldwide sphere by emphasising their historic and symbolic worth.
A Frenchman by start and Italian by blood, he started his career as a professor in Phnom Penh in 1971. 4 years later, he collected an MBA from Columbia, and made the move to management consulting.
Mr Mazzalovo exhibits off a luxurious handbag at Jim Thompson Siam Paragon.
His transition to the style world was, by all accounts, a mere coincidence.
“I moved from Asia and started working in Milan under what turned Accenture [a consultancy company], and one of many companions there was married to a Ferragamo daughter,” says Mr Mazzalovo.
After a stint in Milan he started on the lookout for exit options, and requested the companion to arrange meetings with possible employers.
“The person in the assembly happened to be Ferruccio [Ferragamo],” says Mr Mazzalovo. “He was on the lookout for a number two, we liked each other and began working together in ’89. That was my entry into the branding enterprise.”
After Ferragamo, Mr Mazzalovo was picked up by LVMH, where he took the presidency of Loewe. Bally and Clergerie followed, along with professorships at the Instituto d’ Empresa (Madrid), and the University Paris Dauphine, the place he taught luxury brand management and grew to become known as an avid supporter of the role of brands in society.
His e-book, Professional Brand, revealed in 2004, was an impassioned response to Naomi Klein, who wrote as part of her well-known polemic that manufacturers, amongst other issues, fed off the alienation at the guts of race relations by fetishising black fashion and white wealth.
Luxurious silk equipment, handbags and fabrics can be found on the Jim Thompson outlet in Siam Paragon Purchasing Centre.
The thought surrounding the evil potential of brands “is an ideologised perspective, heir to a communist ideology beneath which there is the demonisation of commerce and anti-liberal activism,” stated Mr Mazzalo in a 2005 interview with the Spanish language newspaper La Vanguardia.
Manufacturers can be a driver of progress if used correctly. Civilisation invented brands in an attempt to present object’s id; there are vases that are thousands of years previous that have brands, he says.
Mr Mazzalovo’s tutorial background has guided his understanding of fashion, particularly his PhD dissertation Brand Aesthetics, which emphasises the significance of aesthetic aspects in business brands.
“That is how I understand trend,” he says as he brandishes the 200-web page incarnadine booklet — a group of numbered geometric figures superimposed on black and white images and conceptual maps surrounded by blocky textual content.
Mr Mazzalovo relaxes with his dogs.
Bombyx, the restaurant wherein he holds lots of his media conferences, is probably a reflection of his excessive concern for aesthetics. The dark area, flanked by summary paintings and brown fabric ribbons hanging from the ceiling, creates the impression of an underwater cave.
Mr Mazzalovo says he is not sure why Jim Thompson hired him at 69 years of age.
“I do not know what the logic was. However Bill Sales space [the managing director] knew the group had to succeed in one other level. Jim Thompson used to have a monopoly, now all of the brands on the planet are right here. He has a willingness to go abroad, to bring competition into their territory,” he says.
Whereas Mr Mazzalovo could ignore the reason behind the hiring resolution, he has more or less built a reputation as an govt able to tap into the historical past and lore of firms to market them on a world scale.
”Brands might be revitalised by tapping into their historical past, their founders, iconic shoppers and historic personalities, as well as by objects that legitimise the authenticity of model heritage,” he says.
This is not the first time that Mr Mazzalovo has been requested to turn round a flagging historic brand. He was poached by French fashion mogul Bernard Arnault from Ferragamo “to make Loewe into a world-class model competing with brands like Ferragamo, Chanel and Gucci”.
In the method he reworked the brand to give it a more contemporary really feel whereas still evoking its Spanish heritage.
“We bolstered the Spanish side, however with subtlety — with out pasting bulls into each design,” Mr Mazzalovo stated in a 1997 interview.
Jim Thompson, founded within the 1950s by the eponymous bigger-than-life American businessman who later disappeared with out a hint in the Malaysian jungle, might fall squarely into his space of expertise.
Like Loewe, Jim Thompson is seeking to place the model on the identical playing subject as prime notch European Fashion houses.
Mr Mazzalovo is seen together with his family at Jim Thomson Farm.
“Jim Thompson is a little bit of a nationwide champion, and everybody had been ready for us to wake up and have ambitions and come to a extra contemporary level,” he says.
While Mr Mazzalovo has given the media a snapshot into his timeline to open stores and restaurants abroad (London, Paris, Hong Kong and Shanghai), he has declined to disclose the specifics on how he will take the brand to the following level.
“It’s on the five-yr plan,” he says repeatedly, “will probably be revealed in time.”
The enterprise roadmap appears to play an virtually sacred position in the corporate’s culture.
“We can have discussions on small operating particulars however the plan stays the map,” says Mr Mazzalovo. “A plan serves the aim of making selections.”
The a part of the plan that he does share, nonetheless, appears to indicate that there’s an growing emphasis on that means, which may be essential to market the model’s deep Thai heritage. Like he did at Loewe, Mr Mazzalovo will try to integrate elements that root the brand in the region.
The latest promoting marketing campaign, for example, closely features tigers roaming on Bangkok rooftops or shying away from the kiss of a woman with vibrant yellow eyeshadow.
“After we put a tiger in our campaign it has a lot of that means to us. It’s the god of the jungle and very a lot part of the culture of the area,” he says.
European manufacturers utilizing tigers as a part of their publicity campaigns don’t have legitimacy or authenticity, says Mr Mazzalovo.
Uncooked supplies for silk are displayed on the shop.
“Look at all of these Western brands using Chinese language-impressed elements like the tiger. It’s like seeing a tiger in a circus — a commercial gimmick,” he says.
Quite than specializing in pricing, the model will deal with building its narrative of exceptionality. The model does not essentially segregate based mostly on purchasing energy, but on who can respect the which means of a product and how it feels. Jim Thompson merchandise are 30% cheaper than these of Gucci and Prada, he says, partly due to lower production prices.
“This bag,” Mr Mazzalovo says as he pinches its lining, “at Gucci it most likely goes for ,300 (ninety,000 baht). Here we sell it for ,000, and it has more meaning.”
For the brand, he has chosen the path of authenticity and meaning.
“I am not going to be the one that cuts the brand from the foundation and says we’ll do no matter we expect the market goes to love. We have now a duty to carry on the model,” says Mr Mazzalovo, elevating his voice 10 decibels.
He has been working within the style trade for a long time, and will stay so in years to return. In other industries every part is dominated by logic, but in trend there may be thriller, he says.
Anyone acquainted with Mr Mazzalovo’s work will discern a deep concern for logic. He was attracted to the vogue trade for its complexity, a complexity which, even in 20-plus years of research, he has failed to grasp utterly.
A really logical particular person making an attempt to grasp one thing that may not be all logical. “I think that’s a pleasant synthesis — to rationalise the non-rationalisable,” he says.