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18 July 2017

MIROGLIO IS 70 YEARS OLD: AN ITALIAN STORY MARKED BY INNOVATION

From the first looms in Alba in 1947 to investment in digital and retail. The Piedmontese company is present today in 34 countries with 4 production plants.

Back in July 1947, Giuseppe Miroglio had the first looms in Alba installed to produce textiles on an industrial scale.

Today, 70 years and three generations later, the Miroglio Group is an industrial concern operating in 34 countries, with 5,500 employees and 4 production plants. Its two divisions - Miroglio Fashion with brands such as Motivi, Oltre, Elena Mirò and Fiorella Rubino, and Miroglio Textile leading the way in Europe in textile printing and transfer paper - continue to shape an Italian business story. A business that has been able to carry on growing and innovating, from the first industrial looms to its network of branded stores and investment in digital technology, while remaining true to its origins and local roots.

The Miroglio family’s entrepreneurial activities began at the end of the 19th century. Carlo and Angela Miroglio used to travel around the local area selling cloth before they opened a shop in the town centre which had become well-known throughout Piedmont by the early 1900s. The production of silk and artificial fibre textiles began on in industrial scale in 1947: in the Italy of the economic miracle, “Tessiture Miroglio” were the first weaving mills equipped with modern plant and machinery.

In 1955 Giuseppe Miroglio built a factory for the mass production of clothing following the American model: a pioneering project for its day. The “Vestebene” womenswear division was established, with small vans travelling all over Italy emblazoned with the slogan “Piace! Perché Vestebene” (“People love it! Because it fits well”). With the opening of a modern dyeing and printing works in 1959, the cycle was completed: from the production of fabric to finished garment.

Over the following decades, the company continued to grow with a focus on innovation. An example is its entry into the transfer paper sector (1976), with the inauguration of a dedicated plant. Today this business goes under the name of Sublitex, and its products are appreciated in over 30 countries worldwide.

In fashion, Miroglio was the first Italian company to dedicate itself specifically to the world of curvy wear, starting out 32 years ago in 1985 with the Elena Mirò brand. Then in 1993 it launched the first Italian fast fashion chain with the Motivi brand, which has been joined since 2001 by others including Oltre and Fiorella Rubino.

Today Miroglio Fashion has 1188 branded stores, equalling more than 10 kilometres of shop window frontage, plus a wholesale distribution network taking in 2400 outlets.

The entrepreneurial commitment has always been accompanied by a focus on people: activities benefiting the company’s employees have been promoted since the early 1970s, when the Miroglio Foundation was set up to provide social welfare, healthcare and cultural activities for the workers and the local community.

With the increasingly standardized and globally-challenging market of recent years, Miroglio has continued to invest in technological innovation. In the case of Miroglio Fashion, with 40 million euro of investment announced for 2017 in new marketing projects, IT with “Miroglio Retail 4.0”, and the ambitious “300 in 300” plan that envisages the refurbishment of 300 sales outlets throughout Italy over the course of the year, the first quarter has seen an 18% increase in turnover. For Miroglio Textile, since 2013 resources and substantial investment have been dedicated to making production increasingly sustainable, with new generation digital printers and environmentally-friendly production techniques joining the traditional rotary presses. The commitment to innovation is reinforced by the launching of MIP – Miroglio Innovation Program, with which the Group is promoting innovative start-ups in the world of fashion. A further step along the path of continued growth and innovation, focusing on the local area and on people in keeping with its history.

“Innovation that respects tradition has been the guiding principle behind the history of our company right from the outset, marking all the stages in the Group’s development that have made it what it is today” says Giuseppe Miroglio, Miroglio Group President. “This has always been the philosophy guiding us in building our future. Across the various generations, Miroglio has undergone several transformations, dealing with changes in the market and the economic and social context, overcoming times of difficulty, and seizing opportunities, often ahead of time. From my grandfather’s intuitions in textiles and the mass production of clothing after the Second World War, through the development of fast fashion right up to the recent challenges driven by globalization and digitalization. The changes over the last few years have led to the need to adjust our business models to new market requirements, making them more streamlined and flexible while continuing to take advantage of our long-established, underlying expertise. For us, being innovators by tradition means constantly looking to improve, while keeping faith with our roots”.