In 2006, the designer purchased the facilities of an old pharmaceutical company. In 2008, after two years of development and renovation, the building became the fashion house’s headquarters: over 6,000 m2 of modern and functional beauty, completely immersed in the countryside of Bologna. The headquarters, shaped like a box, has been designed and developed in order to reflect in its architecture the peculiar features of the brand: coherence, precision, tenaciousness and relentlessness. The project is based on few elements: glass, metal and wood. These materials are harmoniously brought together by plays of light, which define the spaces with their linear geometries. The restyling project is inspired by eco-sustainable architecture and restored the building to its old splendour while expressing the passion Elisabetta Franchi has always nourished, alongside fashion, for architecture and design. Made with simple and essential materials, the structure is balanced by the use of light that emphasizes the materials as, for example, in the external facade in black polished aluminum, which lends the building a functional, yet dramatic look.
A woman who can stir emotions and be touched by them. Her life is itself an emotion. One she lives fully and unconditionally with one single purpose: make her childhood dreams come true, for in fashion she always reflected her soul and purest essence. This desire did turn into reality. This is the story of Elisabetta Franchi, the beating heart of the namesake brand, who managed to rock the female universe with her style and creativity: her success rests on her unlimited passion, painstaking care for product design, sheer devotion to her job and a good share of pragmatic sense. The story began in Bologna, the city where Elisabetta was born in 1968, the fourth of five children of a humble family led by a mother who struggled very hard to raise her children on her own: years later Elisabetta remembered how the lack of a father and the family hardships, mixed with her passion and determination to turn her life around brought her to following her dream with great obstinacy, without giving up before the struggles of life. Her best friend for playing and escaping reality together was her doll who reborn today as the Betty Doll: the same who made true her dream to dress all the women in the world.
In 2013, Elisabetta Franchi chose Milan to open her first showroom, located in Via Tortona 9, in the heart of the fashion district. The facility stands as a black 950 square-meter, 6-storey monolith and can contain 3 collections at the same time. Its design is a prelude to the sophisticated elegance of the collections. The concept for the interior furnishing is sober and refined. Polished walnut paneling and designer furniture is used on the ground floor, which comprises the reception and a waiting area. The ambience is particularly welcoming and furnished with sofas, armchairs and dim lighting.
Quality, craftsmanship and sartorial expertise: these values are behind every Elisabetta Franchi collection, for a luxurious style that has become the new standard in the world of fashion. From research, to the study of materials and fabrics and the creation of prototypes with painstaking care for details, every single phase of the production of each item is carried out at the headquarters, immersed in the green countryside near Bologna. The fashion house’s innovative ideas are turned into reality by expert hands, in an on-going dialogue inspired by a passion for excellence. At the heart of all collections is a constant improvement of fitting and superior care for details, which result in garments and accessories of the highest quality, characterized by a sophisticated elegance which is a true symbol of “Made in Italy”.
The Customer Service is located in a building at few kilometers from the Headquarter: a whole department dedicated to all the post-sales activities both the Italian market and the International one. Customer Service main activity is the Customer assistance; they have a support in all the purchase phases. The “must” of our brand is to guarantee the satisfaction of the distributive net and the final client: with this goal, the Team manage the direct relationship with the clients on a daily basis, to satisfy their expectations in terms of purchase support and collection quality.
Since 2011, Elisabetta Franchi has invested in e-commerce with an e-shop website open for business on the Italian market. Over the last four years, the platform has seen an impressive growth becoming one of the main channels of the Maison’s sales and image. With the site restyling in 2012, the EF’s e-commerce opened the door to support new devices to include tablets with optimised contents and an interesting new feature, the “video catwalk” for every product in the collection. Taking into account the swift development of mobile devices and the evolution in the digital world, the new “elisabettafranchi.com” website made its debut in 2018. The fully renewed website integrates both the corporate site and the e-commerce platform, allowing users to navigate the corporate contents and focus on the shopping experience, choosing among the collections of the Maison. Optimised for navigation from any device – mobile, tablet and desktop – the new website promises a high-satisfaction user experience. The most exciting development is the opening of sales to European and non-European countries including: Germany, France, the UK, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Malta, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia, Switzerland, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Cyprus, Greece, Luxemburg, Munich, Austria and Russia. The new site is available in Italian, English, French, Spanish and German. It also features a new graphic design with a product profile that allows customers to get a 360-degree view of the garments, then proceed to purchase with a simple click or else find the nearest EF boutique using the “geolocation” function that also gives the possibility to book an in- store appointment to get full appreciation of the collections right in person.
EF's mission is to use social networks not only as a tool to increase product and brand visibility but also and above all to convey positive values, disseminate information and to be REACHABLE, understood as being the ability to communicate and interact with the designer and her team. The result is a positioning as BRAND INFLUENCER, opting for a more friendly approach over a corporate one. On the one hand fashion content in an editorial form dedicated to collections, on the other messages that are easy to read and understand, direct interaction and listening. The elimination of these barriers and the simplicity of communicating with Elisabetta Franchi in person has resulted in very important results in terms of satisfaction and KPIs.
EF LOVES ANIMALS
Beside Fashion, Elisabetta Franchi nurtures a great passion, both in her private and working life: the passion for animals and the defense of their rights in the name of a cruelty free Fashion. Her collections reflect this unconditional love: each garment is made without using angora wool or feathers, known for being cruelly torn off the animals. According to the LAV “Fur Free Retailer Program”, fur has also been banned from the collections. Over the years, Elisabetta Franchi has always promoted several campaigns to raise the awareness about the defense of animals’ rights: from “Love Dogs” and “Naked Truth” projects, against the abandon and mistreatments of pets, to the first Dog Hospitality project in Italy, that allows her employees to take their four- legged friends with them to the office. In 2014, Elisabetta endorsed the project “A nudo per amore”, promoted by Enpa, by producing a special notebook and allocating the entire proceeds in favor of dog pounds. In 2015, Elisabetta launches the new collection “EF loves dogs”, which presents special products realized for four-legged friends. The proceeds from the sale will be devolved to animal protection and aid charities. In 2015, Elisabetta Franchi became Extraordinary Partner of LAV (Anti-Vivisection League), and she received several rewards, that repay her animal-friendly loyalty: in July, she received the’ Tao Awards Moda & Sociale’, in Taormina (Sicily), she was the special guest at the ‘Concorso sguinzagliato’ (in Senigallia, Italy) organized by ‘Fondazione Salesi – Ancona Onlus’, to support the Pet-therapy project in Children’s Neuropsychology department. In November 2015, Elisabetta Franchi received the ‘Zampette nel cuore’ Awards from the ‘Zampe che danno una mano’ Onlus, for her important support towards the Association activities. Since March 2016 Elisabetta Franchi become Life Member of OIPA Italy.
RETAIL - THE CONCEPT
Walking into an Elisabetta Franchi store means stepping into the fashion designer’s living room and experiencing the brand’s style first-hand. The format is welcoming, sophisticated and elegant, in line with Elisabetta Franchi’s style paradigm, and gives a tangible and immediate insight into the collections and the philosophy behind them. The style is narrated through a carefully crafted concept, based on clean and essential lines, harmonised with the specific features of each space. The result is a perfect harmony between collections and interior design, an ideal place to experience the creativity that characterises the fashion house. The furniture and materials reflect the brand’s values: smoked glass, see-through surfaces, fabrics, metal and dim lighting create an emotional, feminine atmosphere that amplifies the product. The juxtaposition of full and empty spaces, the care for details and the elegantly draped fabrics generate a mix&match of tactile and visual impressions, which was carefully designed to emphasise the characteristic values of the fashion house. Garments and accessories blend into the environment, which feels like a captivating, yet intimate boutique characterised by a sophisticated atmosphere that reminds of luxury, craftsmanship and glamour.
The Elisabetta Franchi Retail Network now includes more than 70 mono-brand and it is mainly developed in Europe, Middle East, Russia and Asia. After the historical development that took place in Italy at the beginning of the new millennium, the Retail Project Elisabetta Franchi had a strong with a significant number of new prestigious Boutiques. The direct openings in Moscow, Hong Kong and Paris have positioned the brand in the most exclusive and prestigious contexts of women's fashion. The openings in Franchising in Madrid, Prague, Athens, Lisbon, Amsterdam, Vienna, Warsaw, Sofia, Bucharest, Riga and Valletta have covered the main European capitals. The openings in the Middle East and Russia, where today there are over 25 single-brand Elisabetta Franchi, have guaranteed a prestigious and widespread expansion with beautiful boutiques in Dubai, Riyadh, Teheran, Minsk, St. Petersburg, Vladivostok and many others. The Retail Project by Elisabetta Franchi is today an important reality, with a modern and flexible organization that has been able to merge the company's dynamic legacy with the most modern management technologies. The Retail Project by Elisabetta Franchi is now a container that reflects the values of authenticity, hospitality and concreteness, which Mrs. Franchi, Stylist and Owner of the Company, has always spread. The Retail Project by Elisabetta Franchi is a Shop able to satisfy the demands of a current, sophisticated, feminine, cosmopolitan woman and to enhance the brand's unceasing communication. The Retail Project by Elisabetta Franchi is today a successful reality, constantly expanding, looking at new challenges and new territories with great confidence and interest.
Thanks to her style, which ranges from elegance to sensuality, Elisabetta Franchi rapidly conquered the celebrity world. Hollywood stars and influential professionals like Angelina Jolie, Sharon Stone, Lady Gaga, Amal Clooney and Kate Hudson, just to name a few, have worn her dresses with great elegance and simplicity on red carpets and at international events. Elisabetta Franchi has achieved her dream of "dressing all the most beautiful and influential women in the world" by focusing on a well-defined product strategy: proposing versatile clothes suited for every woman and occasion that convey femininity and sensuality without ever lose the boldness typical of the Elisabetta Franchi woman.