Vincent Murphy writes:
I first met Lando Simonetti, Founder and Creative Director of La Martina, at Pitti Uomo 2009. In the few minutes I spent with him, I knew immediately that he was one of those rare and dedicated characters that have a clear vision and passion for what they are doing and what they want to achieve. This, together with a great sense of humour and a genuine interest in people, makes Lando Simonetti a charming and delightful individual. So the opportunity to interview him and to learn more about him and La Martina was really the highlight for me at Pitti Uomo 2010. Unlike most brands at Pitti Uomo – especially now that many of the big names in menswear have disappeared from Pitti for one reason or another – I could sense that La Martina shares something with its clients and distributors that goes far beyond commercial interests.
Perhaps it was the laid-back setting, or just the feeling of being at home in familiar surroundings, but after visiting so many brands, it was a pleasure to sit down at the La Martina stand with Lando, surrounded by enthusiasts who seemed to know that they were part of something special that had little to do with fashion and trends, as he explained.
La Martina has become a household name, but can you explain how it first started out and its future strategy now that it has become so popular?
"La Martina is a family business with family values. We have a passion for the sport of polo and for supplying polo equipment and clothing. Polo is fascinating, fast and dynamic. It sends adrenaline through your veins, but it is also dangerous, especially in Argentina where the speed of the game is much faster. La Martina started out making polo equipments bearing in mind the technical and design aspects, and above all, the safety of the sport. Today, this is still our philosophy... "