What is your previous experience in the industry?
I was born into this industry, with my earliest memories running behind my father (Tony Bianco) around the factory floor in Preston. I finished school and started working in the factory at 17, moving into sales and product. In 1993, I really focussed on product development and the rest is history.
What is your day-to-day role?
Depending on the time of the year, it could be anything from product development, store fit outs, marketing/branding/social media, travel or wholesale - the list never ends. Without the Tony Bianco team and our partners who share the same vision as me, none of this would be possible. People, culture, people!
What is the most rewarding aspect?
I want to say everything! From the elevated store designs to building our team and the products that sell – walking into our boutiques nationally and seeing all of this come to life is humbling and so rewarding. Continuing our father’s legacy, the fact that we are still family owned and run is definitely something my brother Adam and I are extremely proud of.
What is the most challenging?
Getting to a meeting on time?! We are in a digital age where everything is so instant, you cannot slow down or become complacent, right now consumers are dictating trends or what’s hot through social media, so you have to have the right product at the right time.
What is an initiative you are most proud of?
I think what we have done with the brand over the last seven to 10 years from changing our product direction, building a strong retail presence through our boutiques, continually evolving our our online space and expanding the brand internationally is really the greatest achievement. Every store we have today, bar two, we didn’t have six years ago and I think this has really helped to elevate the brands position enormously in the marketplace.
What do you see as the biggest change to the industry?
100% digital – online and social media, all our advertising spends have shifted from magazines to digital (online, e-commerce to developing our social media footprint with the help of partner, Two Hands Agency). The international players entering our shores have also forced us as a brand to look at the retail industry globally rather than locally, which has in turn made us reassess our brand and think even bigger. Everything we do now, we think globally which is imperative to remain relevant.
What do you see as the biggest change coming?
I think it’s got to be online and content. Online has completely altered the way the consumer shops and the way in which retailers can provide customer service to elevate the brand experience. And brands have become their own version of a storybook, content is king and cannot be undersold in the way your brand communicates with your consumer.