Another women’s multibrand store opens during Cortina Fashion Week, in addition to the flagship store in Dobbiaco and shops in Cortina. With a whole floor of footwear!
[On the cover: the new Kraler store in Cortina dedicated to women]
Fashion, art and music will be the key themes at Cortina Fashion Week December 7 through 10, which will focus on environmental sustainability and solidarity this year. These are issues of great interest to the Kraler family, who will be in Cortina this long weekend to open their new store for women, in the form of three connected boutiques, at no. 119 Corso Italia, adding another exciting new shopping experience to the stores already in town!
It’s all about fashion, first of all, because all the Franz Kraler stores, from Dobbiaco to Cortina, offer top international brands for men and women; then there’s art and culture, key values in the heritage of this family of Hapsburg origin, who set up their headquarters in the “castle” obtained from one of the outbuildings of the famous Grand Hotel Dobbiaco, Emperor Franz Joseph’s summer residence. There will be music too, with a dj set by composer Giorgio Moroder, on the evening of December 8 next to an outdoor artwork by Stefano Ogliari Badessi, whose work will be featured at the upcoming edition of Miami Art in Basel. In the world of Franz, Daniela and Alexander Kraler, who work and live together, tradition and luxury are the keywords, but it is the customer who is the focus: warmly welcomed to the store, because this is what makes the difference compared to buying online, as Daniela Kraler explains to italianshoes.
Faced with the overwhelming power of social media and the growth of e-commerce, what is the role of offline stores today?
Offering customers a true customer journey: a shopping experience that goes beyond simply buying something. Welcoming customers to the store as if they were old friends, making them feel at home and personally helping them to make a choice among exclusive brands in a well-cared-for atmosphere. This is the true added value of the shop, something no web site can offer. And this strategy has worked for us: we now have one million customers. But that doesn’t mean excluding the web entirely, or underestimating the importance of social media. We do implement these tools, but always with our own personal touch: we don’t outsource anything. We are planning on setting up an e-commerce project, and it will be very special too.
So how has the shopping experience changed?
In our case, nothing has changed. I’m sure we’re not typical! We make no distinction between VIP customers and ordinary people. We consider them all important, and dedicate the same care and attention to them all.
What is the role of the buyer?
It’s not only about fashion, these days. We must be prepared for and aware of lifestyles, culture, art, music, social networks. This is why we host multidisciplinary events in our stores.
Footwear and clothing: which of the two is the first to grab the customer’s attention when he or she enters the store?
Footwear is “powerful”, because it impassions and intrigues people; it’s capricious. It has none of the limitations that are imposed on clothing by size and age. This is why shoes capture people’s attention when they go into a store. In Dobbiaco, we have a whole floor of accessories, and in the new women’s store in Cortina, the first underground level is only shoes!
With which is it easier to make a bad purchase, an accessory or an item of clothing?
There’s more freedom when buying an accessory, whereas with clothing, you have to be careful about when you’re going to wear it, and it’s easier to make a mistake.
What advice would you give a woman entering the store to buy footwear for s/s 2018?
I would tell her to buy whatever she wants, because there’s a really vast choice: ballet flats and many other flat styles, summer boots made of various materials, sock sneakers. Streetstyle is all the rage, and brands like Vuitton, Celine and Balenciaga are expressing it in shoes too.
What is next season’s must-have?
The “lifesaving heel”, as I like to call it: only a few centimetres high, whether narrow or wide.
What does Made in Italy mean in accessories?
Quality, craftsmanship, pride.
Do customers appreciate the value of Italian-made fashion?
They definitely do, but they’re not as afraid to buy imports as they used to be. What really counts is style and comfort.
What shoe brands are bestsellers in your stores?
There are no particular brands which dominate over others. We sell everything, from Louboutin to Gianvito Rossi, from Gucci to Jimmy Choo, from Aquazzura to Balenciaga, to mention only a few. Not many women leave our store with just one pair of shoes! We have some customers, I’d say about a dozen, who have wardrobes full of shoes, catalogued by year and date of purchase. Real little museums right in their own home.
Do you also sell young brands?
We have always done scouting and projects with young designers for our stores. But behind the big brands there is a lot of research, heritage, and communication, and it is definitely this combination of components that drives purchases.