The Group

The history of Lilla from an interview with Mr. Giuseppe Caviglia, one of the founders of the group and current Managing Director.

“What counts is the idea, the target – to be always positive. What counts is being honest, trustful and transparent.”

Giuseppe Caviglia

THE AUCTIONEERS (I “BATTITORI”):
The history of Lilla Group begins in the 1970ies: during those years, four brothers bought licenses for trading in the local markets of Central and Northern Italy. They were called “battitori” (auctioneers).

The auctioneer went up on a stage and gaveled the sale of an item, just like as in an auction: the person who bid the highest price won the article of clothing. In the 70ies and 80ies this new way of trading represented a great innovation, which enabled us to bring forth our ideas and turn them into reality, until we finally opened, in 1975, our first Fashion Multibrand Discount. The store was called: Stock House Grandi Firme (Big Brands Stock House).

THE FIRST INTUITION: THE BOOM OF MADE IN ITALY:
This project, which brought us to be one of the most important and reputable Italian fashion groups in retail and distribution nowadays, was originally born from an intuition: we realized that a “brand-mania” was going to break out in Italy and worldwide. As the big Italian brands (Gianni Versace, Dolce e Gabbana, Moschino, Gianfranco Ferré…) started to establish themselves on the market, labeled clothes turned gradually to be identified with a status symbol, and more and more people desired to own – and buy – them.

THE SECOND INTUITION: THE DEMOCRATIC LUXURY:
In the years 1975-80 our trucks drove across all Italian cities and old towns, from Trapany up to Bolzano, where both multibrand and monobrand stores (such as Max Mara, Marella, Pal Zileri, Zegna…) were opening and making a name for themselves.

We split into two teams, went into the shops and asked for stocks or dead stocks; we negotiated the price, paid and filled the trucks with precious fashion clothes and exclusive collections which were carried and dropped to our warehouses – and straight after we were ready for another round!
We were the first company in Italy which could offer such a service to the retailers, who considered dead stocks as outdated and worthless pieces of clothing. On the contrary, we had the chance to put these stocks in a different market segment, where they suddenly gained newly a huge value: for the first time, our stock houses allowed a new target of customers to buy for accessible prices big brand items, which otherwise would have been out of reach.

We created what I consider the true luxury: the democratic luxury.

THE ATTENTION TO THE STYLE:
Thanks to our competence in selecting the best brands and choosing the single items, our stock houses became a cool, fashion place, chosen even by well-off families and professionals, who could have afforded to buy the same products at full price but preferred to get them for definitely lower prices.
It was a magic moment: people went crazy for brands such as Armani, Moschino, Dolce e Gabbana, Missoni, Valentino. We are proud of having contributed to the successful development of Made in Italy, but above all we’re proud of having made it possible for everybody to reach and live personally the magic which belongs to the world of fashion.

THE REPUTABILITY AND FAIRNESS IN PROTECTING THE BRANDS:
Our honest and extremely disciplined management of each brand is attested by our renowned reputability and by the long lasting, trustful relationships with the most important Italian fashion houses. If a company decides to put their stocks into new markets, it will choose Lilla because we can guarantee the respect of the delicate market balances, thanks to the international presence of our retail stores.
Everything I told can be witnessed by our twenty-year cooperation with Max Mara, Forall Pal Zilieri, Moschino, Aeffe…
Nowadays our company deals with more than one million and a half of articles of clothing and we’re checking every product twice – when we buy it and when we put it into the market.
I remind you of the fact that also well renowned groups such as “Coin” and “Max Mara” have begun with auctions in the market squares! What counts is the idea, the target – to be always positive. What counts is being honest, trustful and transparent.