SOLE SISTERS: HARNESSING THE POWER OF THREE AT LUXURY ITALIAN BRAND, AGL.
It’s a family affair at accessories brand AGL—Attilio Giusti Leombruni. Launched in 1958 in Montegranaro—a small town in the Marche Region of Italy—patriarch Piero Giusti created a company with quality and comfort shoes in mind. His son, Attilio Giusti then took over the reigns, keeping the family legacy alive. Today, it’s his three daughters who preside over the brand, each bringing their own charm, expertise and style to create an enduring tradition that proves that blood is thicker than water.
“Our entire family works in the business with the management currently being in the hands of us three sisters, each with a different role,” says Vera Giusti. “Specifically, I am in charge of communications and brand image, my sister Sara specializes in sales and customer service, while our sister Marianna is the creative one, who designs all of the collections. My father Attilio Giusti and my mother Chiara Leombruni still work in the business, giving us the benefit of their experience. It’s definitely a family affair!”
Far from being “forced” into the family business, the sibling trio developed their own professional strengths outside of the company before choosing to work together. This, says Sara, is the reason they don’t feel the need to compete with each other to have their creative voices heard. “Each one of us has a huge trust and respect for the others’ opinions, abilities and personalities,” says Marianna.
“We have different tastes,” adds Vera. “We don’t always agree on everything. We have developed a simple rule that helps us in making decisions. If two siblings both agree on something, that is a “go.” Luckily, we are three, so this rule is easy to apply.”
Having daily access to their own factory, AGL can monitor the manufacturing process much more closely than other brands. “The production area of our factory is next door to our offices,” says Sara. “This proximity brings us more than one benefit: First of all our work is based on experiments. We are able to test the products and make changes and receive feedback from the production team and work with them to make improvements, right when a sample is created.” With comfort an important factor, this constant tweaking of designs is one of the great differentiation points of the brand. “If you are a real shoemaker, not only a shoe designer, comfort is really important,” says designer Marianna. “It’s our way to be honest to our clients and work in a professional way.
Dedicated to creating luxury, Italian-made comfort shoes, AGL has the U.S. market in their sights for 2015. “What makes our footwear special, is that my sisters and I design and produce shoes thinking about our own lives,” says Sara. “We wear them every day. We combine our need for design and style with the comfort that AGL is known for, which comes from the craftsmanship techniques that our grandfather taught us. This is what we want to wear on our feet every day.” With celebrities Jessica Alba, Naomi Watts and Dakota Fanning already embracing the brand it won’t be long until we all add a little sisterly love to our shoe collection. — ANGELA GILLTRAP