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Cristiano Corneliani – Impeccable Finesse

The much known Corneliani brand, present in India through Blues Clothing Company, believes that tradition, hand-in-hand with modernity, is the reason of its success. We converse with Mr Cristiano Corneliani on the brand philosophy and more!

Cristiano Corneliani of Corneliani familyA hand-stitched, body-fitted and detailed suit can do wonders to a man’s personality. Throw in subtle pocket square or a sleek tie, a slightly flashy cufflink and a well-made pair of leather shoes, and you are ready to begin the day with power dressing!

Now, let me throw in a little fact for you – a Corneliani suit is made with 548 hand-made felling stitches and includes 27 hand-made operations in its production process. So now you know where you have to head to get your second skin made. And it’s not too difficult with five Corneliani mono-brand stores present across India!

Present in the country through retail giant Blues Clothing Company, Corneliani has been moving fast and quick into the menswear sector in India.

We caught up with Mr Cristiano Corneliani – a descendent of the founding Corneliani family and the Global Sales Director of the brand – on his recent visit to India, and asked him a few questions about Corneliani, India and his passion for adventure.

LuxuryFacts: From 1930s to today, what has changed in the Corneliani brand and what remains unchanged?
Cristiano Corneliani: First of all, I’d like to point out that the family heritage stretches back to the 1930s, while the company was founded in 1958.

Undoubtedly we have kept alive our passion and love for the garments we design. We do so with utmost attention to detail and the highest quality, in which we invest to ensure ongoing improvement.

Perhaps I could somewhat arrogantly claim that with the help of technology, the quality of the past is today the same, if not better. Our motto is in fact “the quality of the past in the present”, or rather innovate with the clear vision of remaining faithful to our values of tradition, quality and modernity.

Corneliani collection 2011LF: What is the one advice which you have been given from your forefathers which helps you maintain the image and class of Corneliani?
CC: Respect tradition, your roots and always be faithful to your identity.

LF: Thanks to your long heritage, today is it easy to maintain the brand, or difficult actually?
CC: Nothing is easy, but coherence has rewarded and will reward our company and the Corneliani Brand

LF: What is your definition of luxury?
CC: Luxury for us all expresses uniqueness, history and dream at the same time. But I prefer talking about ‘excellence’ – definitely a better world to define a Corneliani piece.

LF: What makes a brand luxury? What is the most important ingredient of a luxury brand according to you?
CC: Respect and love for a brand makes it a luxury brand. The most important ingredient is the capacity of combining tradition and innovation, without ever shocking our customer. In this sense we do prefer to use the word ‘modernity’ when expressing the concept of design. Today, one cannot speak of fashion as an end in itself, just as function cannot be separated from design. They have little value as isolated concepts. True design must bring both, function and fashion, together. Thus, forms may change, but the object and its function remain.

LF: You are a big adventure buff. Do you manage to take out time for this passion?
CC: Free time is another aspect of luxury. I enjoy my business, which represents as well, every single day, a new adventure. But yes, riding my motorbike, or skydiving are activities that leave my mind free to project new plans. Therefore, whenever I have the chance, maybe after a long meeting day, I definitely manage to enjoy these passions.

Corneliani collection 2011LF: Italians love the fine things in life. What are your indulgences (apart from adventure, if there are any)?
CC: What about if I say, work, company, family?

LF: Five stores in India – how has the response been like till now?
CC: Opening four stores (two in Mumbai, then Bangalore and Hyderabad) almost simultaneously, in the beginning of 2011, with the first store in New Delhi launched in 2007, is really a self-speaking result of India’s appreciation of the Corneliani elegance, for business as well as for free occasions to be lived with a sophisticated and refined image.

Moreover, taking into consideration the ‘Corneliani community’ in India, like business men, bankers, lawyers, financial investors and operators, brokers, as well as actors, musicians or sport celebrities, it is easy to say that while attending meetings, while checking the stock exchange, while making a conference call, signing an agreement, shooting a movie or playing a key game, all these people are enjoying ‘today’s global world’. Corneliani collections are designed to understand and perform: collections that inculcate a 50 years old experience of Made In Italy quality and the fast pace of modern fashion trends worldwide.

LF: What are the future plans for India?
CC: At the moment, in short term, we can say we are happy with the five mono-brand stores we have in India, also because this network is able to cover all the key cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore. I can now say that Corneliani brand is present in all the luxury clusters that may represent a target for us.

However, we are keeping our eyes open, to be ready to launch the brand across cities like Chandigarh,  Kolkota, Pune, Chennai – that is to say, to develop a premium mono-brand boutiques network across at least eight of the 14 Indian cities which are home to more than 50 per cent of the total affluent of the country.