Headquartered in San Giuliano Milanese, Schmid has revamped the historic brand, a renowned name in the fashion and luxury supply chains. Innovation and sustainability are the keywords at the core of the new organizational structure
High-profile converter in the field of fabrics and semi-finished articles used for the making of shoes and leather goods, Schmid is a key player in the Italian as well as foreign supply chain for the fashion and luxury industries. Today, the whole shareholding is in the hands of three professional figures who have joined forces, each with a specific area of expertise: Mario Boselli, Cavaliere del Lavoro (Order of Merit for Labour, editor’s note), Giorgio Iacobone, a lawyer, and Valerio Baiardo, general director and supporter of the new path undertaken by the historic firm after a complicated period further aggravated by the consequences of the pandemic. At the latest edition of Lineapelle, Valerio Baiardo outlined the first results achieved and the upcoming challenges.
Valerio Baiardo, what good news does Schmid’s participation in the latest edition of Lineapelle entail?
“2022 started really well. 2020 was an annus horribilis, while in 2021, in spite of the difficulties due to the long lockdown periods, we managed to be in the black in terms of EBITDA. We observed a change of paced between last January and February, registering astounding data, albeit not yet on a par with those achieved in 2019. During the exhibition, we noticed the attendance of a quality-driven clientele, yet, quantity-wise, not even remotely comparable to the levels reached back in the golden years.”
What are the reasons behind said results?
“First of all, Schmid is a renowned historic company, that benefits from an all- Italian supply chain, the latter a strategic strength in an economic situation based more and more on production speed and top-notch quality standards. After ensuring the firm’s financial stability, via debt absorption and a marked capital increase, we turned our attention to the product catalogue in order to upgrade it and to expand the range of articles provided. Today, the inability to plan out long-term work has reduced lead time down to 4/6 weeks: for this reason, we have tried to guarantee continuity and stability in terms of storage capacity, effectively managing the assortment of basic products in the most popular colours.”
What product innovations have you launched?
“We have kicked off a collaboration with Directa Plus, one of the world’s most prominent suppliers of graphene nanoplatelet-based compounds applied to different textile supports, a feat that will help us improve the performances of some of our products conceived for the footwear and leatherware fields. The Italian firm listed on London Stock Exchange, AIM market, features a unique, patented technological process, completely based on physical rather than chemical transformations. Graphene’s first-rate thermal, antibacterial, hydrophobic and electrostatic properties turn Directa Plus mixtures, identified by the G+® brand, into ideal solutions, especially for materials used to manufacture linings and uppers. The only drawback lies in the limited array of colours, whose shades are related to graphite and range solely from grey to black.”
As for in-house organization, what aspects have you tried to enhance?
“We have acted on several fronts. We are developing partnership programmes with suppliers, given that, today, the main source of concern for a company lies in constant uncertainty. We have supported the return of Silvio La Casa, qualified Operation Director with an excellent technical expertise. In order to further improve our collections, we have turned to an external style department for advice. To gain a stronger foothold abroad, we have expanded the sales network with the addition of new agents for Portugal, France, Brazil. In- house, we rely on young, passionate, close-knit team.”
What about sustainability-oriented investments?
“We are developing an eco-friendly mesh fabric, 60% recycled nylon. We have obtained the GRS – Global Recycle Standard certification for a dozen or so articles featured in a specific portfolio. To achieve tangible results and to get positive feedback, one must be able to identify the trends as well as to keep a step ahead of market evolution: thanks to our ability to innovate and meet product customization demands, we have resumed relations with the leading fashion and luxury brands.”
Valerio Baiardo, Schmid’s general manager