F is for FemaleThere’s some pink in Ferrino’s DNA as we have always believed and invested in women in the outdoor world. Anna Ferrino herself underlines how this decision was
not for the brand a simple passing fashion dictated by today’s trends, but a real choice, made a long time ago, in which she strongly believes today more than yesterday.
After so many years, what does Ferrino represent for you?
Ferrino is my family company, I’m the fifth generation and I manage it today together with my partners, the Rabajoli family. It has accompanied me everyday of my life, when I was two I was on the cover of the catalog, posing as a small model to represent that typical situation of an Italian family who went camping, more often with a Ferrino tent.
I have always been interested in dealing with the outside world thanks to my great curiosity, so in the first part of my career I decided to interface with external realities and only later dedicate myself to Ferrino, which for me today represents the most important challenge of my life.
Nowadays companies must continue to innovate, communicate, engage consumers in order to stay on the market. It is a challenge that I face on the front line in this wonderful company that has always had a rigor and a unique attention to entrepreneurial ethics, together with a seriousness in product development and in relations with its partners. For all these reasons I think that Ferrino has the ability to become an increasingly larger brand at an international level.
There are many female faces that have represented and that represent Ferrino, one in particular is Carla Perrotti.
First of all I’d like to remind everyone that almost 60% of our collaborators are women and I would like to thank them for their great commitment and daily contribution that is fundamental to the success of the brand. Carla, on the other hand, is one of our historical ambassadors and also historical has been what she has done. An apparently normal person who has achieved extraordinary challenges, getting involved and crossing a desert alone in every continent with our gears. On our side there has always been great attention in listening to her requests, in following in her adventures and in designing gears that would meet her needs. For all these reasons, Carla has become somewhat the icon of female ambassadors of our company followed by other women mountaineers up to the Ferrino Women Team.
How would you promote women in this male mountain universe?
Lately there has been a great deal of attention to the female world, often driven also by the attempt of many companies to grow in this market segment. I believe that Ferrino, through his historical attention to female athletes, has been a bit of a forerunner in the sector, since today all the brands are looking for women ambassadors but we have been doing that since the 80s. Of course we intend to continue on this road that we took many years ago, not for a matter of fashion, but for an attention that the brand has always had towards the needs of the outside world.
You’ve put a lot of effort into the Ferrino Women Team and now you’re getting great satisfaction and results, can you tell us about it?
The Ferrino Women delivers a well-defined message, it is an invitation to all women to reflect that nothing is impossible if you get in the game. Our athletes are all normal women, with their own life, job and family, at the same time they have a strong passion for running that leads them to carve out the time needed to train and to reach those levels of quality standards that allow them to compete in a Tor de Geants for example. It is a message to challenge your own limits: if you have a passion, go for it with commitment and determination and you will see that everything is possible.
Stefi Trogue has recently conquered her second 8000 and seems willing to continue. She stands out because she always wears lipstick when climbing, how much is she a symbol of the quotas for women in mountains for Ferrino?
She’s a very determined girl with an ambitious dream that she pursues with that little touch of coquetry that is her red lipstick, as a warning to never losing femininity. She’s doing well and is growing even from a technical point of view, she has certainly been chosen and supported mainly by our local distributors but also by us within a project that is based heavily on a development of digital communication related to our brand in Spain. So surely also the fact that Stefi has her own important digital presence helps to make our brand known through contents consistent with our positioning. We are happy to have welcomed her on our team.
You have a very strong personality, have you ever encountered any difficulties because you are a woman in the outdoor/business world?
I certainly have a strong personality but, at the same time, I believe I have always tried to act in a feminine way. Objectively I have never had great difficulties. I realize however that nowadays it is a big problem to overcome and improve in some cultures more than in others. It exists and must be faced seriously but, as far as I am concerned, I have never seen it as a limit.
Ferrino realizes products designed exclusively for women who obviously have a different physicality than men. How much time and resources do you invest in developing products for women?
Our line of products dedicated to women essentially consists of backpacks, sleeping bags and clothing. In the backpacks in particular there is a more important ergonomic component than in other product technologies, a backrest that is well suited to the female physical conformation can make the difference in terms of comfort and safety of use. The line has been very well received since its debut. We have been one of the very first brands to offer products dedicated to the female universe. Today this market is growing and so consequently we have decided to expand our range and investment in the sector. Many of our athletes have helped us about it: Carla Perrotti has a fairly small body and therefore a delicate back. The work we did with her was the forefather of all the sensitivity and technical skills that we have gradually developed and we continue to develop trying to give women backrests that fit perfectly to their body size.
So will the mountain world always be brighter and more pink?
For me the mountain world follows the trends of our society, women are making fundamental contributions to the development of our world: they are increasingly important and capable of making a difference, even with smaller numbers they are progressive growing and occupying more and more relevant roles where that touch of feminine ability, of multitasking and also of sensitivity in human relationships always makes a difference. In the outdoor world the segment linked to women’s products will continue to grow somewhat in line with the evolution of the female role within our society.
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