6 Ways To Refashion A Legacy Brand: In Conversation With Braun Büffel’s Fabio Panzeri
A Strong self-awareness
Prized for its German craftsmanship and fuss-free functionality, Braun Büffel has been the go-to for leather purists in their pursuit of excellence over fleeting trends. While this is an advantage, what of its relevance with the times?
It’s a challenge that Fabio Panzeri, the newly appointed creative director of Braun Büffel, approaches with gusto. Braun Büffel is the latest foray of the Italian creative director, whose past experiences include designing leathergoods for Prada, Helmut Lang and Calvin Klein. Judging from these forays, Braun Büffel has an exciting future ahead, in his hands.
The Italian creative director based in Singapore is a bundle of good energy that belie the full-sleeve tattooed arms peeking from beneath his signature all-black ensemble.
“My personality is honest, positive, sometimes brave, sometimes serious,” he described, with a twinkle in his eye. “I like to play with different energies from within (a brand) and then translating them,” he added, in reference to past creative collaborations with Trussardi, Replay and blogger Chiara Ferragni.
Welcome creative versatility
“I started designing since age 4, it was a hobby of copying comics. My teens was when I got interested in fashion, so I pursued a degree at the Istituto Marangoni,” Fabio said, of his formative background.
Fabio then began work designing leather goods and accessories, and familiarising with the work that goes into it. His stint with Prada and Prada Sport exposed him to see the production side of fashion too, making it an all-rounded experience. That’s how he honed a passion in accessories, and exploring its endless possibilities, styling a woman’s overall look.
Relate, understand, and define a brand
“I’m able to fortunately read a brand from outside to inside, to understand its traditions, origins and material," Fabio reflected.
It takes a lot of effort to create a new phase: It’s not about changing the collection; it’s to change the conception.”
He cited the role advertising campaigns play, in giving definition to the brand and its roots. Plucking from his diverse fashion experience, Fabio has the ability to communicate Braun Büffel the best way possible, internationality.
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Welcome opportunities that inspire
“I’m an Italian living in Singapore, working for a German leather brand… It’s very confusing but I think it’s a great opportunity,” he admitted.
Work has brought Fabio to experience different parts of the world: He’s lived in Italy to Switzerland, from New York to Singapore. In each city, he’s soaked in different experiences and appreciated the cultures and festivals that make them more vibrant. From this practice, he’s grown adept at injecting his personality into a brand in the process of getting to know it.
Gaze into the future
Fabio’s capsule spring/summer 2018 collection stays true to its signature elements, like the buffalo logo. “To soften Braun Büffel’s masculine qualities, I played up with saturated colours and translated the buffalo logo as something edgy and fun,” Fabio elaborated.
He shed some light on the men’s collection, injecting colours of orange, light green. But above all, the capsule collection was designed with aunisex message behind it. The men’s backpacks and totebags are versatile enough for girls, and multifunctional for different occasions.
“There's a new generation of customers, whose mentality is neither masculine nor feminine. I want to look at the futuristic aspect."
Campaign with an effective story
Fabio couldn’t emphasise more on a clear, relatable story when it comes to collection campaigns.
“Every collection tells a history, I try to create a sensation that makes you feel like you’re stepping into a Greek island,” he said, of his spring/summer 2018 campaign.
This spring/summer, Braun Büffel evokes the history and cool lifestyle of Greek island, following on with a future collection exploring the city culture of New York – 80s New York, to be specific.
“We project the future from the past,” Fabio suggested. “So when we talk about the 70s or 80s, I think of it as an energy projected into the future.”