Romanian version of the interview from the Dialog Textil magazine
The name of Simiz is connected with several clothing business in Focsani. Having a father-to-son tradition in the field, the things for Simiz family went well. One of the business is Simiz Fashion, started by Silviu Simiz four years ago, which has been on the rise despite staff shortages and industry problems. The number of employees has tripled, they are investing in people, technology and in increasing customers ready to pay more for full service. In addition, at Simiz Fashion is also growing the premium brand Inais, which promises and offers some of the best Romanian products so far. About how he managed to reach this point and what will follow, we talk with Silviu Simiz, Simiz Fashion manager.
How did Simiz Fashion start?
Founded in 2014, Simiz Fashion is a family business with a tradition in the garment industry for over 20 years, being established following the division of Pandora Prod. It can be said that we are young but experienced. Business has gradually increased from 180 employees in 2014 to about 650 today. At this time we have a production capacity of 25,000-30,000 units per month. We started from CMT and came to FOB, offering from sampling to final product delivery: patterning and sampling starting from the original sketch, grading patterns using CAD technology, fabrics orders, accessories … It was not easy for us, customers saw that we are in the market for 2-3 years, that we are at the beginning, but we have backed over 20 years of experience in this field.
The Simiz family has been investing in Focsani for more than 20 years. This factory was raised from scratch by my father, then I took it together with my brother, and after the division I stayed here. The next generation comes from behind, my son is 21 years old and would like to work in clothes even if he is studying something else at this time.
How did you reach 650 people as the world complains about lack of staff?
We managed to have a good human resource management. We went on the principle that people brought people, but we also benefited from a favorable situation, in our area a large and powerful factory has changed its shareholders, but we have also formed people. We had a staff policy different from the others, we could say we were more humane and that we got closer to them. And it matters. In addition to the older people in the company, who work with passion, I brought some younger forces. Unfortunately, the routine is very large in clothing manufacturing, but whoever is passionate remains. We also raised wages, and at this time I think we have the best wages in the garments, forever.
Is there pressure from other employers in the area?
Yes, but our people, if they leave, migrate to other countries in Europe, obviously not in the same area unfortunately. One side came back.
What can you tell us about Simiz Fashion’s external customers?
On the field on which we are located, as a quality / price level, we are good, serious and well placed in the market. We want stable customers with whom to develop tradition relationships, over time, not business in the short term. We want partnerships because if the customers only considers us suppliers it is not OK. We are a company with good technical possibilities, offering quality, punctuality of deliveries and good service. Customers perceive us as a proper company and therefore there are not many comments about prices because it is known that the prices we offer have some good arguments behind us. Simiz Fashion is still at the stage of looking for new customers to move into another, more challenging, more competitive product stage. We want to evolve. Always desire must be greater than it is possible. That’s why we want to be fair to the customer and to us and to make a careful selection of our customers from the perspective of our current possibilities. In general, there is a lot of pressure in the garments bussiness, and people are frowning. Even a client of ours remembered the previous days how many faces bright saw at the factory during his visit. He was telling us that a piece of clothing made by an angry man would go out and angry, tormented.
Can you give us names?
Our customers are the same, mainly COS and Massimo Dutti. They are the largest active customers on our market, not only in our case but also in the other factories. Besides them, we grow other clients in Europe and North America.
Besides human resources are you also investing in the technology?
Sure, we’re constantly investing in technology. Growing production in recent years in an accelerated way, we kept up with technology. We have invested in cutting , made and finished machines. All this in order to offer our customers a high level of quality, but also to increase efficiency. Our production areas are equipped with modern ventilation and lighting systems. Of course, in addition to investing in technology and human resources, we have also allocated significant funding for company certification with the SA 8000 social standard that focuses on our employees and confirms alignment with international labor standards. Environmental responsibility has also been highlighted by aligning our company with the ISO 14001 environmental standard and, last but not least, quality through the ISO 9001 quality standard.
One year ago, you are preparing to launch the Inais brand. Has your enthusiasm gone or not?
We do not lack enthusiasm. We are all optimistic people who see the full side of the glass. The first year of Inais was a “year of probation,” in which we have proven that we can work together in very different conditions than we imagined at first. We also understand what public we have, that we are well positioned, and that we can generate works that we did not expect at first. We had many pleasant surprises and made many friends.
How have things evolved all the time, tried to sell outside the site?
Things have evolved rapidly. We must be able to keep up with them. We sold out of the site, of course, to events created by us, or to multi-branded Romanian designers. We sold in surprising conditions when we did not expect, or did not sell much in other situations that we would have expected. This whole process is alive, the brand-client relationship is in training and development, and we try to learn from the signals transmitted by the market and the niche we want to coagulate. We work at the showroom, we are in the process of “hostility” with its organization, certainly that will be the key moment when we find that we can also access other sales channels.
What would be the distribution of sales by geographic areas. What kind of consumer does Inais have?
Do you have any study?
We have some very useful internal studies for sales to see where we are going as
collections, target, consumer. As for the buyer, Bucharest and Focsani are key points, being the cities we come from. It was expected to be so. But I was pleasantly surprised by commands coming from outside the country, from the people being abroad knowing about us from the internet, from social media, and I noticed that some of them started to command constantly, what we enjoy.
Inais consumers are exactly what we had in the target from the beginning. Middle class, educated, art consumers and modern events events, or in connection with the business area.
I know that Inais is adding value not only through design, but also through materials and finishes. What do you praise here?
We try to bring added value through everything we do. Including the way we sell pop ups created by us, with our identity, through the stories we create about the people who wear our clothes, and, of course, always through materials. We do not leave any material without the Inais print. You will not find the Inais texture / print / print, the same as ours, in any other place. Many materials are transformed by dyeing, effects. Every object becomes very personal and we sell “painting on clothes” at the price of a series object, which is very rare. We try to find and reinterpret denim processing techniques, but on many other materials. We invent our own “recipes”. And denim will remain our source of inspiration.
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