Interview with Marie Fiorin (Marilicious.com)

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Earlier this week we interviewed the fashion expert Marie Fiorin. She’s a French-Italian entrepreneur who has launched Marilicious, the all-in-one style platform with designer clothes at a discount, beauty tips and a fashion blog. Together with a Master in Fashion & Design Management from SDA Bocconi, Marie has an extensive background in the fashion industry, having worked as a fashion stylist & having collaborated with major brands such as Vivienne Westwood, Emanuel Ungaro, Fashion TV & Yoox.

EU-Startups.com: Who had the idea for Marilicious and how was the startup-phase financed?

Marie Fiorin: The idea & concept of Marilicious first came to me when I was just looking for a new way through which I could express my creativity with fashion & beauty editorials. I simply wanted to share my view on fashion, with trends that I liked, outfits I wanted to wear & true beauty tips based on my own experience. So I created a website to showcase all that!

In the vision of providing a full stylistic experience, I then decided to re-construct Marilicious by integrating an online store and a fashion blog.

I came to realise how trends last 2 or 3 seasons and that you can actually use past items to express a current trend. This is what I am trying to show with Marilicious. You can be very trendy & fashionable while wearing last season’s dresses! The cherry on the cake is that last season items are cheaper! I wanted the online store to propose fully discounted items that are still “valid” fashion-wise.

I believe that with the general economic climate it is becoming crazy to pay high prices for clothing & accessories. Marilicious is for people who are trendy & fashionable and who don’t want to renounce from wearing premium designer brands (we carry Marni, La Perla, Aquilano Rimondi, Rick Owens & more).

The new & updated version of Marilicious was launched in April 2011 and is now an all-in-one online style platform with offices in France & Greece.

As far as the financing is concerned, it was a mix of equity and start-up bank debt and I am the sole shareholder.

EU-Startups.com: What makes Marilicious unique or better as other fashion platforms out there?

Marie Fiorin: There are so many fashion platforms that are great! Marilicious is just unique in the sense that she is the first (and only!) platform integrating an online store, editorials & blog all in one website. She is there to give you a complete, intimate & personal fashion experience.

All blog posts are written by me, with my pictures, my tips and my reviews on fashion shows. It is very personal. For the online store, the assortment is carefully selected and I would actually wear every single piece available on the website! It is a bit like shopping my closet!

Marilicious could be considered as an outlet but she is actually the only online store to give the customer a luxurious feel when shopping items at a discount. Usually when you shop at a discount you don’t receive your order in a nice packaging & you have to pay for shipping.
Shopping on Marilicious is a smart way of shopping luxury trendy brands, have them delivered to your door in a signature packaging and free of charge, and to simply be stylish for less!

With Marilicious you pay a fraction of the price but still have the luxury appeal & feeling. I want to give access to quality fashion in an economic way.

EU-Startups.com: Marilicious is incorporated in France and opened a branch in Greece – why Greece?

Marie Fiorin: I opened the branch in Greece because I had suppliers & new designers that were in Greece and therefore it made sense to have a warehouse & showroom in Athens. Although Greece is facing the crisis we all know, the country shows good potential as far as Internet & online shopping is concerned. I have been able to collaborate with good online platforms in Greece and received substantial press coverage.

EU-Startups.com: What kind of marketing strategies do you use to promote the platform and to make Marilicious a well known brand amongst fashion lovers?

Marie Fiorin: Many different strategies, the most important of which include collaborations and creations of partnerships with many other websites dealing with fashion & online shopping. It goes from having giveaways, to organizing events and so on, in order to make Marilicious known.

Facebook & Twitter are of course a fundamental part of marketing. Every Friday we have the “Fashion Fridays” on the Marilicious Facebook page, which allows the fans to ask me tips on what they could wear for their Friday-night date or on what to pack for their weekend get-away! It is really fun and I enjoy being in direct contact with my Fashion Lovers!

EU-Startups.com: How many people are working for Marilicious at the moment and are you hiring right now?

Marie Fiorin: I have interns whom I’m planning to hire very soon! Plus I have a fantastic Non-Exec Director helping me with strategic, business planning and financial matters.

EU-Startups.com: Do you have plans to add additional languages to the platform or are
there any new services / features in the pipeline?

Marie Fiorin: Yes, I am working on having the online store in French.

I am also planning on adding additional features to make Marilicious more interactive and have you play with your clothes and create mini-looks of your own!

Another very important step will be to add video, with designers’ interviews & how-to videos.

EU-Startups.com: What are the midterm future goals for Marilicious and where do you like to see the site in about 1 or 2 years?

Marie Fiorin: The goal is to become the absolute go-to source when you need fashion, beauty & style tips that are genuine and personalized, and when you want to shop the trends for less!

EU-Startups.com: How is your experience with Nice (France) and Athens (Greece) as a
location to start a company?

Marie Fiorin: Nice is where I come from and it is actually a very strategic location! It benefits from the glamorous reputation of the French Riviera and it is so close to Milan & Paris!

As for Athens, it has its pros and cons, as every place. It might be suffering now but whatever goes down will definitely go up again.