Tibaldi reinvents itself, ready to take on the future, adorn the hands that will shape tomorrow, accessorise the Generation Next.
These are incredibly dark days and we all know just how terrible it feels to be lonely, with no outlet except the social media. One is locked-in, depressed and scared of an uncertain future brought about by an enemy that is mutating faster than mankind can create the vaccines to slay it. But to a number of businesses, the home quarantined are no more than a “captive audience”, to be bombarded with sales pitches that are coming across not only as insensitive and untimely, but also as a downright cruel joke.
Tibaldi, is among the few that has got it right. They have reached out alright, but has “loosened the pace of commercial push of the products and instead reverted to postings that suggests some introspective/ soothing in-house human activities” that might help people in going through this period of bleakness in a better, more wholesome way. In the Social Media, Tibaldi is stressing on reading, drawing, cooking and writing, urging people to rise above the menace and engage with the future. Writing, in fact has reaped an incredible wave of social interaction: comments, visits, and perhaps even more importantly, sharing, which has vindicated its concerned move; of Tibaldi’s century old practice of touching lives and transforming them.
Inked Happiness caught up with Evelina Hristozova, the Head of Operations of Tibaldi who is leading the Tibaldi initiative of winning friends and influencing people. Evelina Hristozova, former Marketing Manager at Montegrappa, knows not only her pens, but also the people who use them, as well as the triggers that induce them to press the buy buttons, for she has prior experience of working in Forte-forte, Calgaro and Diesel, which partially explains the youthful zest that the brand she now represents is exuding. Excerpts:
Inked Happiness: Founded in 1916 in Florence, Italy, Tibaldi has always been synonymous with domain-defining Italian craftsmanship and its characteristically ostentatious designs, till it closed shop in 1965. Can you share some vignettes from the past – the most sought-after vintage Tibaldi models, how the brand survived the war years, examples of advertisements, the life and times of Giuseppe Tibaldi, or any other thing that you feel should be of interest of our readers?
Evelina Hristozova, Tibaldi: There are just a few archive images that I can easily send to you from my home-working location right now.
The rest of the wonderful materials from the past are treasured in my head office, but unfortunately, we cannot reach our workplace right now. However, I am sure we will have enough occasions to share more of it as soon as we all resume our new “normal” life.
Attached, there is a picture of the first Tibaldi model, named PERFECTA! Isn’t it a beautiful name for a pen?
It came out in the early 1920’s, it went into production and never stopped evolving for the following two decades. A longevity champion that enjoyed a multitude of sizes, sub-names and collection re-modelling. So many of them that it is hard to catalogue with certainty all of it, as a long time (a century from then) has passed and many curious archives and details have been lost.
We find Perfecta’s “vintage aesthetics” so terribly chic and contemporary that we’ve decided it would make the perfect debut for the rebrand.
Staying faithful to the vintage genius and beauty of those two, we offer our new Perfecta collection of pens in sleek Black-vibes resin ( pens at that time were mainly produced in dark ebonite), housed in modern squared cardboard packaging with some precious up-cycled features to note.
Along with Perfecta, two more historic lines have been re-interpreted: Infrangibile and model N60 from the Lusso series.
All collections are crafted in top-grade resin with stainless steel trims, offered in the modes fountain, roller-ball and ballpoint pens. Nibs are made in stainless steel with an ebonite feeder, available in the five writing grades: extra-fine, fine, medium, broad and double broad.
Inked Happiness: Since its takeover by the iconic Montegrappa brand, what has been the Tibaldi strategy – is it moving towards aligning itself to the Montegrappa collections for greater synergies or is it contemplating an independent course, drawing sustenance from the salience of its own brand and expertise?
Evelina Hristozova, Tibaldi: Both trademarks Montegrappa and Tibaldi are captained by Gianfranco Aquila and his family, however each of the brands delineates its own marketing segment. Montegrappa has been successfully consolidating its share on the high-end limited editions and tailor-made products market niche, whilst Tibaldi’s present-day business strategies outline an inspiring shift to a more selective, consumer brand daily luxury product segment, appealing to a younger, wider, and trendier consumer base.
Inked Happiness: The new Tibaldi line looks stunning – sleek, mean and contemporary, crafted in the right material, incorporating the latest technologies, yet uncompromising in its old-world charm and is priced attractively to boot. Does one discern a conscious effort to reach out to the young, to induce them to pick up the pen as something that they can relate with?
Evelina Hristozova, Tibaldi: “Does one discern a conscious effort to reach out to the young…” Yes, that is just right! The age span of the global consumer base is widening, buying triggers, patterns and demands as well, both male and female targets are almost equally involved, so we feel product offer should reflect and tune to newer and various expectations of the user experience. Pens, we believe, regardless of their price range, are perceived today as accessories more than ever. Glitzy little extra-s that boost one’s personal style, trim one’s mood, daily outfits and why not?
Inked Happiness: From your vantage point, do you see writing in general and the fountain pen in particular, making a come-back? Are more young people taking up the pen to express themselves?
Evelina Hristozova, Tibaldi: It’s been awhile now that writing as such has changed in nature. It is no longer an operational necessity, of course, nor just an intellectual quest; but whatever purpose it bears it has surely become a ritual to perform. Lettering, graphics and creative profiles on the whole are taking more and more space on the professional scenery and we do file these activities as a form of writing too. Then why not do that in great style?
Handier modes as roller-ball and ballpoint pens are a majority on the market, but there has been a registered surge of interest in fountain pens too. The latter, however, is mostly driven by the writing society demand for collectable, customised and unique products, so in our opinion this kind of trend regards mostly specific market niches and pen collectors’ circles.
We believe more young people would take interest in pens, as they would take interest in any other well-designed commodity product, as long as what they see meets the ever more refined standards of appeal.
Inked Happiness: What are Tibaldi’s plans for the immediate future? Where do you see the brand in, say five years’ time? Are you aiming for any particular niche? Perhaps contemplating newer lines?
Evelina Hristozova, Tibaldi: Tibaldi’s re-branding has had as a starting point, some of its most inspiring iconic styles from the past, but new lines and new ways of interpreting and living the pen are in the pipeline.
Inked Happiness: How does India feature in your scheme of things? Are you thinking of any special strategies to make your presence felt in India, where the sheer numbers are baffling enough to offer exciting opportunities for brands like the Tibaldi?
Evelina Hristozova, Tibaldi: Tibaldi’s new offer has landed in the home market last October, European distribution is the next closer step at aim. Greater and further expansion, such as India or other overseas markets, is just as welcome and will be evaluated as soon as we are ready to address such opportunities.
Here is our website to link: www.tibaldi.com