In Conversation With Andrea Zaffin, Managing Director Safilo Middle East And Commercial Head IMEA

Andrea Zaffin, Managing Director of Safilo Middle East and Commercial Head IMEA, talks to Siraj Bolar, Editor-in-Chief, VisionPlus Magazine

Safilo Group began in Italy in 1878 with its first eyewear and optical frames production facility. Today, Safilo is one of the major players in the design, production and distribution of sunglasses, optical frames, and sports glasses.

Reiterating the Safilo legacy Andrea Zaffin says,” Safilo is a company with more than 140 years of history. We take pride in our legacy and have always put our passion into designing, manufacturing and distributing.”

The impressive portfolio

The Safilo portfolio is made of iconic eyewear brands such as Carrera, Polaroid, Smith owned by Safilo, as well as licensed brands including BOSS, Carolina Herrera, David Beckham, among many others. Andrea added, “Today we have brands that, for us, are really strong partners.”

Working as partners

The secret to Safilo’s growing legacy is its ability to work as partners with its customers. Commenting on this approach, Andrea Zaffin said, “We have been working with long term partners in the region – not just for business but to shape the future of the industry. Our partners work with us almost like subsidiaries – this allows us to understand markets better and in turn serve the customer better.”

The Middle East connection

The brand has been present in this region with its brands for decades, working with local partners and retailers. In fact, according to Andrea, Safilo was one of the first companies to believe in the potential of this region.

In 2014, they localised their commercial hub for the Middle East in Dubai and opened a fully-owned subsidiary with a state-of-the-art showroom in order to be close to the clients in the region and provide the full range of their latest collections.

The online connect

Commenting on the growing presence of e-commerce or online eyewear retail, Andrea said,”Increasing presence of the online business is an excellent opportunity for the retailers. It gives them a chance to grow their customer base. I don’t see any reason to be threatened by it. I still believe that sales service is an important aspect of our industry – service will remain critical and optical retailers should look at this as an opportunity to grow professionally – make the retail environment more appealing and serve the clients better.”

As Safilo continues to build its optical offerings providing an assortment in line with the clients’ needs – to build legacy in the region.

To listen to the complete interview, please watch the below video.

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