“Our work goes well beyond just selling a collection”

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Name: Ana Vaz
Age: 55
Place of birth: Lisbon

She’s one of Riopele’s market specialists with accumulated experience working in a market of such relevance as France, where she maintains close relations with brands of international renown. In other geographies, including Belgium, Hungary and the Netherlands, Ana daily discovers new commercial partners.

 1. What is the importance of the French market to Riopele?

This is a historic market for Riopele. In France, we work with fashion brands that are global references. Brands that are our partners and have contributed significantly to the company’s development.

2. Is Riopele working with these French benchmark references more of a challenge or a responsibility?

Both of them. From the outset, it’s challenging as french brands work in a system that is not traditional, with particular needs that especially demand the timely development of products of excellence delivered within the necessary timeframes. In being a challenge, this is also a responsibility that ensures we appropriately monitor each stage and with a great focus on the final result.

3. What competitive arguments does Riopele deploy in a market as demanding as the French?

We have a broad collection, a vertical production structure and knowledge about the global markets that conveys trust and stability to our clients. In addition, we believe our work goes well beyond just selling a collection. We seek to genuinely accompany the client, right from the initial request through to the post-sales support. This philosophy is in our DNA.

4. Today, Ana is a specialist in the French market while also working with other very significant markets such as Belgium, Hungary and the Netherlands. What differences do you note among these various markets?

The mentality because it’s inherent to the countries. In France, we work with three typologies of brands. Some started out in the ‘80s and ‘90s, which turned into international colossuses. Then there are the brands launched in the ‘70s that will face some structural changes in the future. Finally, there are the new brands specifically oriented to the online market.

In turn, in Belgium and the Netherlands, we work with exciting brands even if they do not have the same international visibility. In Belgium, for example, there is a culture of close dialogue between the client and the supplier, while in the Netherlands, there is greater business assertiveness. In the case of Hungary, we work with young brands with highly studied product concepts.

5. Is sustainability a fashion that has come to stay or an opportunity to distinguish innovative and responsible companies from the others?

We cannot call this fashion because, as Coco Chanel defended, fashion changes, but style endures, and sustainability is undoubtedly here to stay. Essentially, this will serve to distinguish those companies with the best practices and an opportunity for those able to make a difference right throughout the value chain.

I also consider that sustainability cannot be bound by the lobby for certification. In my opinion, the response of the final consumer will be absolutely essential to differentiate between those with genuine and coherent practices from those just doing greenwashing in the fashion industry.