Passion, dedication, courage and innovation are the key words for identifying the objectives in a company. And for them to grow from strength to strength, they need nourishing with robust values: ethical craftsmanship, respect for people and care for surroundings. Whoever runs a company must know how to lead by example. This is leadership according to Claudio Marenzi who, as the President and CEO of Herno, has introduced a breakthrough vision in the production of garments and the start of a new era. Along with a brave and happy strategic change in the new era of Herno, comes the achievement of the strengthening and improvement of the highest standards of excellence, creativity in style and research into high-performance materials, as well as the effect on production processes, developing original and leading technologies to offer unique, tailored products. A bold move, heralding a consistent increase in turnover - 70 percent of which is achieved abroad. A choice possible thanks to 70 years of experience in manufacturing: because Claudio Marenzi's entrepreneurship looks to the future without ever being distracted by the past. Confirmation will be in the plans yet to come: while there are growth objectives, even in the highest standards of quality and company magnitude, the philosophy hasn’t changed, with strengthening being the way forward - because what is conquered today will be crucial tomorrow.
This is a lesson from distant lands. Claudio Marenzi was born in the 1960s, while the Herno factory was busy conquering the luxury goods market with an eye on Europe. During his childhood, he ran between the stream and the garden around the factory and played with cotton reels, paper patterns and fabrics. The company was a playground where tailors, designers and workers became an extended family. Sometimes, on a boring afternoon, little Claudio would fall asleep in the middle of metres of cashmere and wool that had been left lying around. Their strong smell, texture and pliability remain vivid in his memories, developing his sense of touch for fabrics, a particular sensitivity for beauty, quality, detail and good taste. Claudio Marenzi grew up learning how a product is created and completed and was able to admire its distinctive qualities. When he was just twenty, he joined the company and worked in production, then as a salesman before rising to the strategy department. He discovered the ethics of craftsmanship and, by following his father Giuseppe’s example, understood how strong discipline and the sacrifice of his own time were the price to pay for a responsible entrepreneur, which also meant respecting people and increasing their skills by recognising their talents. It meant admitting the need for profound strategic changes, without disregarding past experiences.
What do I do when I come back from a long trip? I walk past the lake, take a deep breath and then go into the factory, with my suitcase still in my hand, even if it’s a bank holiday, even if no one’s there. Two essential rituals.
The sense of responsibility in the Herno firm has also manifested itself in care for the surroundings. For Claudio Marenzi, Lake Maggiore is like a zen garden: it calms him down, recreating an inner feeling of tranquillity. And as a sporting man, the lake also represents a space for physical well-being and play: swimming and sailing - his passion - as well as making circles in the water with rocks, which takes him back to childhood, or the rare pleasure of lakeside contemplation - that step away from boredom which makes brainwaves flow. It is here, and nearby on the banks of the River Erno that Claudio Marenzi felt at ease in life and then with work. And he is developing a symbiotic relationship with the land, which he has learned to respect, and a love of those who live there. An awareness that he doesn’t forget even when he chooses other production sites for Herno: because protecting an area means preserving a memory and the feelings of those who live in it. And as far as Claudio Marenzi's ethics are concerned, this one is as vital as water.