The Moodie Davitt Report brings you the latest instalment in our popular series Ten Easy Pieces*, in which we get up close and personal with leading travel retail personalities via ten snapshot questions.

This time we speak to Coccinelle Head of Travel Retail Emanuele Mazziotta, the globe-trotting fashionista who has mastered the art of “work hard, play hard”.

 1) Where were you born and raised?

I was born in Italy and I’m part of a family of four. Since my childhood I started travelling and living in different cities with my family across Italy, attending different schools every three to five years then ending my studies in Switzerland.

Emanuele Mazziotta: “Always act with passion, be fair and be a globe trotter”

It was one of the best periods of my life, we were used to moving from one city to another one, like a kind of gypsy family. This might be one of the reasons I am always travelling around the world and love the travelling part of my job!

It was not always easy because I had to leave friends every few years, but this has for sure forged my open-minded nature. I am always thankful to my parents and the way they decided to raise us.

2) You studied Economics and Business at the Università della Svizzera Italiana. What did you enjoy most about your student years?

I graduated from Università della Svizzera Italiana in Switzerland where I did my Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Business and my Master’s degree in Management with a minor in Marketing. It was such a great experience, I had colleagues from all over the world and had the chance to get inspired by different cultures.

During my studies I had the opportunity to move to Finland for almost a year and studied at Turku School of Economics. This was another unique experience that I always bring with me, the best way to finish my education before starting a new life.

“I am always thankful to my parents and the way they decided to raise us”

I was fascinated by Finland but never had the chance to visit the country, so when I heard about Turku School of Economics as being a very good university I immediately took up the opportunity. Some of the world’s best Northern Lights can be spotted in Finnish Lapland.
 Finland is the ‘land of a thousand lakes’ and it is also the land of thousands of forests; over 70% of Finland is covered by beautiful forests. After being used to living in cities with people running around and congested traffic, it was like a jump into the wilderness!

This country is also the only place in the world to meet the real Santa Claus in Lapland, where he greets visitors all-year round.

Winter wonderland: Pictured is Engadine in Switzerland, one of Emanuele’s favourite places to escape to

3) How did you get into the fashion industry? Were you always interested in fashion?

It was kind of a coincidence. My university, in partnership with Bally, organised a workshop day while I was preparing my Master’s thesis and I simply fell in love with the brand. I told myself: “I want to work here one day.” Being Italian I love fashion; several fashion icons are in fact of Italian origin. My mum has influenced me as well, passing to me her love of fashion. I remember her with her fashion magazines and updating all of us on the latest trends.

4) Tell us about your time at Bally. What was your biggest achievement there?

I started at Bally with an internship in May 2008, more precisely in the Marketing & Communication department. Having Economics and Business as my academic background, after a few months I moved to the Merchandising department taking care of the creation and development of collections. We were the bridge between the marketing and the creative team.

After two years, thanks to the product knowledge acquired during the merchandising experience, I moved to the travel retail department with the aim of helping the team to put in place some guidelines in terms of buying, reports and visual merchandising. Everything started in January 2011.

The biggest achievement? I learnt how to work properly, the modus operandi and how to plan the work to make things done. I also learnt how to “work hard, play hard”.

5) You joined Coccinelle in 2014. What excited you about the role?

I was headhunted to join Coccinelle to accelerate the travel retail business, with the aim of greatly strengthening the company’s presence in this channel. 
I had to build the business from scratch. I still remember the first strategy meeting where the company asked me, after just one month of working at the brand, “where will Coccinelle travel retail’s business be in one year, three years and finally five years?” I sat down, looked at a map and made my first list of locations to consider.

Emanuele has overseen numerous travel retail openings for Coccinelle, including 20 in the past five months; pictured is a new corner at Shinsegae Centum City Downtown Duty Free Mall in Busan

Coccinelle was a new challenge for me, it is a brand with strong experience in the production of bags and accessories, a segment which I particularly love and has shaped me professionally. At Coccinelle products are the daily companions, designed for contemporary women in celebration of their natural attitude and ‘Gioia di Vivere’ and in achieving their ambitions while spending what is right.

We always listen to women’s needs and aspirations because we want our creations to brighten up women’s everyday lives and celebrate their natural confidence and zest for life.
 The brand trusted in me a lot since the beginning and it is an honour for me to be a part of this family.

6) Is there a person who has inspired you the most throughout your career?

I always try to be inspired by good people. If I look at my professional life I have been inspired by several people since I started working, I am always curious and never tired of getting good insights from people around me. My current CEO, Andrea Baldo, has mentored me in the past years, always acting with an entrepreneurial spirit, and big-picture thinking. He is a very charismatic and open-minded person leading the company with an international approach.

When it comes to our industry, on the commercial and development side, Gerry Munday [Furla Global Travel Retail Director] for sure inspires me. I love the passion and the energy she puts into everything she does, her determination, her professionalism, her knowledge and her entrepreneurial approach.

7) Any top tips for young people hoping to pursue a career in fashion?

I would say always be passionate in everything you do, think as being an entrepreneur and with an ‘out of the box’ approach. Never be tired of learning and discovering, never sit down but always think how you can improve yourself to do better and succeed. Always act with passion, be fair and be a globe trotter. Work hard, play hard and always be open-minded.

The beautiful island of Sardinia is Emanuele’s go-to place to switch off

8) Who or what is your favourite designer/ fashion brand?

Giorgio Armani, known for his clean and tailored lines, is my favourite fashion designer – the pioneer of red-carpet fashion. I like the craftsmanship of his pieces, always designed with an understated sense of elegance.

9) Preferred business and holiday destination?

Asia is for sure my preferred business destination. I like the melting pot of different cultures and the kindness of the people there. When it comes to holiday destinations, Engadine region in Switzerland during winter time and Sardinia in Italy for the summer season are my favourite places. I love the sense of freedom you get there; they are the only places where I can really switch off and regenerate myself. Whenever I can, I always try to be there even if only for a few days.

Pippa the pooch: Emanuele’s ‘third daughter’

10) I hear you have a Basset Hound. Have you always been a dog person? Do you have any other pets?

Pippa is my five-year-old Basset Hound, my third daughter. Pippa is a key part of our family life. I also have a 15-year-old cat, Leo. I believe pets are fundamental in raising kids and help to improve their social, emotional, and intellectual sides.

*PREVIOUSLY FEATURED TEN EASY PIECES PERSONALITIES INCLUDE:

Meet Royal Dragon Vodka Founder and President Michel Morren

Meet Lacoste Travel Retail Director Asia Pacific Erin Lillis

Meet Ian Macleod Distillers Travel Retail Director Andy Lane

Meet Planters nut and snack specialist Jacco Douma

Meet Tumi Director General Europe Damien Mignot

Meet Brazilian Scotch whisky specialist André de Almeida