A talk with Alessandro Marinella
Alessandro Marinella, great-grandson of the founder of the historic Neapolitan Maison E. Marinella, tells TBDE Journal. Let's find out together its history and how the TBD eyewear x E. Marinella sustainable eyewear capsule collection is born.
That "little corner of England in Naples" has become the brand known all over the world. From your great-grandfather to you, what do you think is the common thread that led you to success?
There are two main threads, first of all, attention to the customer. The customer at E. Marinella is at the center of everything when he comes to us, he is treated as a friend and not as a buyer. We want it to come to us not only for purchase and duty but mainly for pleasure. When the Maison was born, Matilde Serao defined us as a "village pharmacy" precisely because at the time this name was given to the places where the locals of the area met to converse and be together. In fact, E. Marinella has always been a meeting place rather than a place for buying clothes.
The second focal point of our success is the highest degree of craftsmanship and quality.
There is a lot of competition in the clothing market today. What is the secret of the tie Marinella?
Over time, at the international level, we have always tried to have greater margins by obtaining the greatest profit from an activity. This philosophy is certainly not that of E. Marinella.
One of the challenges is the printing of our ties, even the simplest is done internally by hand in England, following a very old, laborious and expensive process we are aware of. But the quality and the feeling you get when touching a printed and hand-sewn silk tie is unique and unrepeatable, it goes beyond the competitive prices of the market. We are honored to be among the few in the world who still use this method that combines sartorial experience and hand-made printing with the highest quality materials.
Among the many negative effects, the pandemic has also led to further growth in the casual sector to the detriment of the formal. Unfortunately, in the workplace the tie, which had already been in hiding for some years, is less and less present. What do you think of this phenomenon? Will they continue or will they return to request this beautiful accessory?
Unfortunately, the use of the tie is less and less but I believe that this accessory will never disappear. This decline in the use of the tie is mainly due to the lesser use of the wearer in the office. The tie will almost certainly never go back to being the main must-have of our wardrobe as it once was, habits and customs have also changed due to the pandemic. But I don't rule out its return to fashion in a few years.
One thing is certain, those who continue to wear it will be for pleasure and not for duty. In fact, those who wear an E. Marinella tie does so because they embrace our philosophy because they want to wear a unique accessory that characterizes them and that will never go out of fashion. Obviously, we will continue to push on this accessory that distinguishes us, but we are also expanding the offer on all other silk accessories such as clutches, suspenders, ascots, and scarves always signed by E. Marinella.
We know that E. Marinella is very active in the social field, safeguarding culture and art. Would you like to tell us something more?
We are very attached to our territory, both from a social and cultural point of view.
In the social field, we have often helped hospitals and foundations in Campania. While on a national level, during the first lockdown we made a collaboration with the Italian Red Cross. We have recently entered into a charitable collaboration with the Umberto Veronesi Foundation, where part of the proceeds will go to finance research for prevention.
From the point of view of culture, we have always been promoters of Italian cultural heritage, in particular those of Campania and Naples. From museums, to the reconstruction of streets and public spaces. We believe that if Naples spends, all of us citizens benefit from it.
To date, you follow the communication and social networks of your company. If you had to define E. Marinella in three hashtags, what would they be?
#tradition #elegance # craftsmanship.
Tradition because it is a traditional and historical Maison, founded in 1914, synonymous with great experience and responsibility.
Elegance because E. Marinella has always been combined with the synonym of elegance that is found in all our accessories.
Craftsmanship because all our products are the result of processes made entirely by hand by expert craftsmen.
What will the "new generation" of the Marinella family bring to the Maison?
I hope to bring the fourth hashtag, that is #innovation.
Innovation in terms of the offer, trying not to connect the name E. Marinella only to the tie but to a total look, thus making it a clothing brand.
Innovation in terms of organization, today the company is still managed in a family manner and the internal organization needs to be optimized while maintaining our roots.
Innovation in terms of communication, especially the digital one. We know that it is not easy to communicate craftsmanship digitally, but social networks are a tool that, if used correctly, can give you great visibility, thus reaching everyone.
How was the capsule collection born with TBD Eyewear? What is your favorite pair of eyewear?
About a year ago Fabio Attanasio and I met casually in Naples on a set of a Japanese program, Fabio had to show the beauties of the city and the best Neapolitan tailors. One of the stops was our Maison, there we met and immediately became friends. I didn't think twice about asking him for advice on which eyeglasses to choose since I wanted to abandon contact lenses.
One day he proposed to me to create an exclusive capsule collection together, I immediately liked the idea and so we gave life to this wonderful project.
We have combined craftsmanship, quality and made in Italy that distinguishes us with sustainability to create 4 handmade unisex sunglasses in bio-acetate, a biodegradable and 100% recyclable material. We were able to perfectly match the blue identifying our Maison to the chosen models: Donegal and Lapel have a gradient navy-blue frame combined with grey lenses; Oxford and Pleat are E. Marinella navy-blue, the former paired with grey lenses and the latter with a vintage blue clip.
In addition, each eyewear has an engraving inside that indicates the progressive number of creation, thus confirming its uniqueness. The logos of the two brands are engraved on the external ends of the temples and the microfibers have been created by printing an iconic pattern of the E. Marinella ties.
Obviously, my favorite glasses are the Donegal model, square and robust with a gradient navy-blue frame and grey lenses, it was love at first sight.
Tailoring and sustainability. What do you think about it?
It is a fundamental, current and innovative combination.
We are in a historical moment where sustainability must be the key to understanding any collection. All brands in the world, fashion and otherwise, should think more about the environmental impact they have in the production of their products. I think it's time to roll up our sleeves and understand how we can be more and more sustainable thus helping our planet.
Essential question: What is your favorite tie knot?
The knot that I use daily and that I prefer is the Pratt Shelby knot, a different version of the simple knot. I think it's the right combination of a small knot and a large knot. Alternatively, the half Windsor knot which is more structured and complex, so not every day.