… just the way you are
BY SANDY STRASSER
We are into great designs and into small details. We are all about quality and understated looks. We started out with denim and advanced into collections. We go beyond borders and believe in true friendship. We value our heritage, love today, long for tomorrow. We are Closed. Denim handmade in Italy since 1978.
The idea was simple and convincing: founding the first Italian denim label and giving it a French acronym. C’est ça! ÇA for short. That is what Marithé and François Girbaud believed in and that is what they chose as a company name to sell radically and sophisticated designed qualitative sportswear. Their approach was great, but trouble came soon. A big textile chain did not receive the name well and objected with file number 11342. Two years later the case was finally closed and thus it was decided Closed had to become the new name. Heritage and innovation have since gone hand in hand for over 38 years.
To continue Closed as a family business is still the brand’s philosophy with Til Nadler, Gordon Giers and Hans Redlefsen at the helm. The three old school friends have vowed only to work with people they like. After business studies in London and some time as roommates, they first went their own ways – Giers in Florence, Nadler in Milan and Redlefsen in Hamburg. Still, in the back of their minds there was always the idea of collaboration. Today, they overview all departments as a team: from design to marketing, logistics, production and distribution.
It all started with denim in Paris in 1980. The year Closed Jeans and their X-pockets were introduced (handy at an angle of exactly 33 degrees). These arm rest pockets allowed for easier access, whereas the sacrum cut on the back yoke created a better fit. Another visual hallmark is the fly label, at the front of the fly, and as it is hand-sewn, an expert job.
Today, the design team creates men’s and women’s collections several times a year. Closed denim classics are retained all the same. The company remains loyal to its manufacturers as it likes to produce its clothing at the source of its materials. As such, Europe is the focus for cotton yarn and fabrics: sweatshirts are made in Portugal, denim is woven, sewn and washed in Italy, often by second-generation employees. The best cashmere comes from China. Every Closed item is made with love and in every detail you can find a love for quality. This holds true from design until it is hanging in a closet somewhere.
With more than forty mono brand stores in cities as Paris, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Madrid, Hamburg, Berlin, Munich and Vienna and 300 colleagues in twelve countries, the company tries to operate internationally and independently. Worldwide it collaborates with around 1300 multi-brand and premium retailers among which are Selfridges in London, Le Bon Marché in Paris, Lane Crawford in Hong Kong, Beaker in Seoul and Ron Herman in Los Angeles. With the conceptual Japanese retailer United Arrows in Tokyo a capsule collection of two men’s chinos was designed.
What Closed and United Arrows share is an aim for quality and sophisticated design. United Arrows is spot on with smart and exclusive Japanese lifestyle. Being known for trend-conscious clothing, high-quality products and timeless value, the brand has shaped the Japanese market for over 25 years. They started out with a men’s line in Tokyo in 1989 and kept growing. It now offers also women’s clothing and miscellaneous lifestyle goods – in more than 70 multi-label stores in Japan and online, ranging from private labels to international designer brands, mainstay products to trendsetting pieces.
By now, the friends of Closed have called worldwide attention as design and customer satisfaction are the key elements of the company’s business culture. And that is clearly reflected in every detail of the Capsule Collection as a revival of timeless classics in men’s trousers. Being entirely yourself, that’s what makes up Closed and its worldwide community.
A brief portrait of Vignold
Vignold has over eigthy years of experience in implementing communication measures in sales promotion, with particular expertise in point of sale, cross-media, post-production and artwork. Perfect retouching, technically flawless pre-media services and production of large-format digital prints are some of its specialisms. Customers appreciate its thorough understanding of marketing, project management, workflow tools and transparency during complex projects. The company believes in the triad ideas, organisation and execution. At the beginning of each project, Vignold brings inspiration and rates the task, combining their comprehension of the customer’s communicative goals to their expertise of organisation and technical options. Vignold is convinced that implementation today does not work without systemic organisation and advises its customers on the best organisational structure for their marketing measures. Its workflows have been captured by digital transformation. Based on its experience during the cooperation with major German retailers and software producer Brand Street, Vignold has developed supportive web applications streamlining both the implementation of POS advertising and the creation of periodic promotions. In the end, the brand implementation services specialist focuses on its roots: staging. That means that all its employees seek to make the most of the realisation of the planned communication measures, from photography to large-format printing, foil printing, print and online content.
Closed and Vignold
Implementing projects with passion and commitment: the process of installing trendy, large format prints for Closed in numerous branches was both labour-intensive and exciting. Vignold PoS-Manager resulted however in a smooth, efficient and transparent software process.
This article was published in The Produktkulturmagazin, issue Q3 2016. Picture credit © Closed