The market for “all round” boat wear (i.e., that can also be worn in the city and ashore) has rebounded in a big way after the pandemic, and Chieffi is the right person to relaunch the Genovese brand born in 1979 when Gian Andrea Zucchi, Luigi Monaco d’Arianello, Giovanni Crosio and Andrea Laura, friends and sailors, made a series of sailing sweaters for some boats racing in the Winter Championship.
A brand that, over the years, has been able to grow globally, becoming technical apparel worn by international sailing-Olympic Classes, America’s Cup and Oceanic Regattas-that has infected sportswear, in a nautical style that blends technical details specific to competitive sailing with the lines of casual wear. After a crisis, recently was Slam – 100 employees – was acquired by VAM Investments, a private equity holding company that invests its capital together with family offices and institutional co-investors.
“We wanted to find a professional who had managerial skills and was a physical embodiment of Slam’s know-how and passion for sailing,” said Marco Piana of Vam Investments, “someone who was also a great sailor. Like Enrico Chieffi.”
ENRICO CHIEFFI’S STRATEGY FOR SLAM
Tells Chieffi: “In Slam I found great substance. A very good product, knowledgeable people. I also found a business that is not doing well, but we think there are all the elements to bring Slam back to the level it deserves. Those who know me know that I have never called myself a natural, even in the boat. My strength has always been method, method, method, great work, analysis, technology. And I would like to apply the same rules in Slam as well. Running a business is no different from running a sailboat.”
He continues: “We have not yet developed a business plan; we need to get to know Slam even better first. We have a strategic plan though: in four points. Bringing sales back up to 40 million (as in 2010), today Slam makes about 20 million. Strengthen the Italian and international sales network. Then a strategic e-commerce project, then streamlining the internal production and organizational structure. Slam is a medium-small company and is competing with clothing giants: it will be quite a challenge. Slam starts from sailing, from the sea: first we will start from sports and the outdoor world, strengthening our commitments of sustainability and in social.”
“I will personally try (almost) all the garments before marketing. Let’s go back to where we came from, technical, “pro” clothing. We want to create a top-notch sports team with athletes who will test materials in the field.”
Concludes Chieffi:“I am, at 58, in the ‘third phase’ of my life. After the first part as a professional sportsman, with Swan (in 23 years) I went through the managerial phase, now I am dropping into an entrepreneurial adventure. With Slam, I see a great opportunity: the upside of this pandemic is to have scattered cards. There is a new world to assess, without bias or blockage. Whoever can move better will win. As the Chinese say, the word crisis corresponds to opportunity.”
WHO IS ENRICO CHIEFFI
Enrico Chieffi, born in 1963, started with his brother Tommaso and with the 470 class he won the 1979, 1980 and 1982 Italian Championships, and the European Championship in 81, participated in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics in 1984 by finishing fifth, and won the World Championship in 1985 in his home waters at Marina di Carrara. He was the tactician for the Venice Moor at the 1992 Cup. Among other things, he recently won the European Star Championship(HERE we told you his story). Chieffi remains on the “board” of Nautor’s Swan, where he was until now Vice President, serving as Senior Advisor.
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