Mascioni: built to export
Staff -- Home Textiles Today, 10/1/2001 12:00:00 AM
Cuvio (Varese), Italy
Presidents: Alberto & Carlo Mascioni
President, Mascioni USA: Monique Potel
Principal businesses: sheeting, top of bed
"Mascioni was built with exporting in mind," said Monique Potel, president of Mascioni's U.S. division. When Bernardo and Umberto Mascioni founded the company, they knew that if they wanted state-of-the-art equipment, she said, the Italian market would not be big enough to sustain operations. "They immediately became aggressive with other countries," she said.
At that time, however, companies were more comfortable working with others in the same location, and the Mascioni brothers had to overcome that by offering something more, and therefore, the company became known for its printing capabilities. Soon they began working with companies in France, England, Germany, Belgium and such.
The American market, however, was difficult to break into, after Mascioni printed a bedding collection for Ralph Lauren. "People thought that our prices would be too high," Potel said, "and it took a while to break that reputation."
Mascioni prints mostly on wide-width fabric, though it also does some narrow width. Its primary business is in sheeting and top-of-the-bed, she said, "because that's where the quality really shows the most." Decorator fabrics are a smaller market for the division.
Its mill in Italy is one of the largest in Europe, she said, and is also used by Bassetti, which has the same parent company as Mascioni. It also has a sales and marketing office in the United States.
Because the company is open to printing in new types of ways, "we've always had a lot of support from designers," she said. "Most of the printing trade is very traditional." Besides Lauren, she listed Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Tommy Hilfiger and Alexander Julian as designers who have come to Mascioni at one time or another.
For Mascioni, "the key to global marketing is innovation and service. You do not attract customers by price, but first by quality and service."
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