Roy Roger’s, the story of how blue jeans conquered Italy.
What if denim was an Italian family business? Would you believe it? Well, just be aware that what I’m about to tell you is no fairytale, rather a true story. It all started back in 1949 in my hometown, Campi Bisenzio, on the outskirts of Florence, the cradle of Italian Renaissance. The Second World War just finished and Italy was really struggling to rise up again, but thanks to the inventiveness of a new generation of successful entrepreneurs a new renaissance, an economic one, later styled by the media as “miracolo economico”, was going to take over.
The protagonist of our story is indeed one of the leading characters of the above mentioned “economic miracle”. His name was Francesco Bacci and his bright idea was to create the very first Italian denim brand ever, Roy Roger’s. Through his company, named Sevenbell, Mr Bacci started travelling to North Carolina, USA, to import the finest cotton from Cone Mills Corporation, one of the world leading suppliers of denim fabrics, in order to use it to make more resistant working clothes to sell on the Italian market.
Once he understood that denim, being a very adaptable material, could have been successfully employed also in casual-wear other than working-wear, he easily came up with the idea of selling made in Italy blue jeans. In 1952 the first pair of Roy Roger’s hit the stores. Their zipped rear pockets and the black triangle bearing the name of the brand sewn at the bottom of the right rear pocket made them so unique and recognizable in Italy, that Roy Roger’s not only became the most popular jeans in the country but even synonymous with blue jeans for Italians.
After controlling the Italian denim market for almost thirty year, the company went through some hard times during the nineties. That’s when the second generation of this entrepreneurial dynasty, impersonated by Fulvio Biondi, the husband of Francesco’s daughter and current president Patrizia Biondi, injected new life into the Roy Roger’s DNA by adding to the iconic blue jeans a total look for both men and women. Although denim remains the company’s core business, the Roy Roger’s contemporary collections are nowadays offering also different kind of products such as chinos, shirts, swimwear, outerwear and footwear.
Today, Niccolò and Guido Biondi, who represent the third generation, are busy managing the family business looking up to their father’s motto which is: “non c’è futuro se non hai una vera storia”, that we could translate in english with “there is no future for those who do not have a solid past to lean on”.
In view to hold true to this value, one of their current targets is projecting into the future the legacy of their brand by launching a new e-commerce website that is also a lifestyle magazine, www.sevenbell.com. Here you can find editorials, short stories, style tips and, of course, shop online all the new S/S 2014 collections from Roy Roger’s and the other labels that belong to the Sevenbell Group: President’s, Nichol Judd, Oak Street and Union Spark.