Jacopo Mazzola (Imatex): New opportunities hidden in details & materials.
31-05-2017 in Connect
Jacopo Mazzola is the 28 years old son of Giulia Fumagalli, CEO and owner of the Italian family business Imatex spa. As a professional golfer with an MBA in Marketing, Jacopo always had the possibility to join the family company but he did not do it. Two years ago, during the PGA TOUR Latin America season, he received a very important phone call from Giulia Fumagalli. She asked him to join the family business.
What is your current function within the company?
I mainly work in sales. I am the export manager and business developer in the US, Latin America, UK and Australia. I have no official title. I’m not that kind of person. I highlight and achieve a goal, rather than asking for job titles. That is what I have learned as a professional athlete. I travel a lot and I constantly meet customers, therefore I am in the right position for decision making on where the company should be heading to.
Your generation handles things differently from older generations. What are your thoughts on “We have always done it like that”?
I find it very funny, particularly because it’s an expression you hear a lot. I was taught the opposite. In marketing you always need to keep reinventing and improving yourself. The same goes for sports. Giulia, my mother, says exactly the same thing. My mother has an open mind. Together we look for new ways to improve our consignments, our quality, our design and everything else.
Nowadays it’s all about new business models. Do they provide any opportunities for the textile industry?
Our industry has very few ground breaking innovations. New opportunities are hidden in the smallest of details, in materials and patents, e.g. This is why I mainly invest in our R&D department. But we don’t want to lose our identity and find it important to stay connected to the roots of our company that was founded in 1960. We draw a lot of inspiration from the archives. We make traditional designs contemporary with today’s technology and innovative yarns. Imatex can do this because we are a fully vertical business and we control the entire production chain, from raw material to the finished product. My goal is to give Imatex a strong brand recognition, which consists in quality, service and product innovation.
Can a weaving mill go directly to consumers?
I have my doubts that we can go directly to the end consumer. I don’t even want to go in that direction. Imatex is a business to business company and should always stay this way. Our focus is to offer our customers the best possible service. They are more qualified to bring the product to the end consumers.
However, being a b2b company does not mean you don’t have to be a brand. On the contrary. I want Imatex to be a recognisable, strong brand within the textile industry.
How do you deal with the relation between work and your private life?
I used to be a student-athlete at Lynn University, where I had to combine golf practice and tournaments with studies and I quickly learned how to handle that. As a professional golfer, you need physical training, golf practicing, constantly travelling and manage that with your personal life. I try to approach my actual work in the same way. It is essential to have a balance between your job, family, and hobbies.
What dream do you want to realise in, say, 5 years time?
I want our creations to be strong and recognizable within the industry. Imatex is already a well-recognised brand. We are well known for our design tradition, but I also want us to be known for our innovative yarns and textures. We are Italian weavers, and we only manufacture in Italy. We are proud to produce a true MADE IN ITALY product.
You can meet Jacopo Mazzola and Imatex at MoOD, in shed 2, from Wednesday 6 until Friday 8 September at Tour & Taxis.