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Replay CEO: ‘Genuineness and authenticity are currently the greatest luxury’

By Jule Scott


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Business |Interview

Presentation of the Replay 9zero1 collection in collaboration with Martin Garrix Credit: Kirsten van Santen

Vintage is all the rage among Generation Z - especially those active on the video platform TikTok - who have recently discovered and reinterpreted numerous fashion trends from the past. The Italian denim brand Replay is capitalising on this phenomenon and reissuing a denim classic from the 90s: the '9zero1'.

The relaunch, combined with a marketing offensive involving Dutch DJ Martin Garrix as co-designer and football club Bayern Munich as one of the latest ambassadors, is intended to retell and redefine the history of the brand, which was founded in 1981. In an interview with FashionUnited, Matteo Sinigaglia, CEO of Replay's parent company Fashion Box SpA, explained why the time is right, what the ‘9zero1’ has in common with rock'n'roll and why he remains optimistic despite challenging times.

In recent years, Replay has been synonymous with the 'Hyperflex' model,

and now you have revitalised a 90s model with the '9zero1'. Why did you decide to look to the past at such a precarious time globally?

We will continue to innovate denim. The 'Hyperflex' model was a great example of what innovation can look like, but we can do much more than that. Right now, we are focusing on telling our story in a contemporary way.

There are few brands in the world that can tell their own story and draw on it - we have a unique opportunity here. It's an opportunity to communicate the relevance of Replay to a younger generation and tell them where we come from and this enduring relevance. However, the '9zero1' is not the opposite of what we did with the Hyperflex, but rather a complementary step. We are writing our future through innovation and at the same time reflecting on our history.

Some may remember the '9zero1', but many won't have any associations

with this model. Is that an advantage for Replay?

It's similar to music. The younger generation wasn't necessarily in the world when the legends of rock'n'roll were actively touring, but they still love them. The same goes for the icons and legends of cinema; they know they are still relevant even though they were famous long before their time. The same goes for '9zero1'. Many younger people didn't necessarily know the model, but now they are beginning to understand why the company still exists and why it is still relevant. It's a privilege for us to bring our history back to them.

What counts is authenticity, and that's what drives us to go into the archives, knock the dust off and find a contemporary tone to revive a true original.

DJ Martin Garrix and Replay CEO Matteo Sinigaglia Credit: Kubilay Altintas

Authenticity is currently a much-used buzzword. What does the word mean

for Replay?

Genuineness and authenticity are currently the greatest luxury for us, because it's the only thing you can't invent - or buy. Either you are authentic and have the history, the story and the references to prove it, or you don't. You can't invent it. Over the last 40 years, we have earned this privilege, and now we have decided to be brave and revive a part of our past.

This is not to say that there are no risks in looking to the past. Times have changed, the 90s were very different from the times we live in today, but so far we are more than satisfied with the reaction of the younger generations.

The model has already been on the market for a few months, now you are

going on the marketing offensive ...

We started with a soft launch, which gave us a lot of positive feedback and was the signal for us to continue.

Now we are starting to take the campaign and the jeans to the masses. The cool thing about these types of jeans is that they ultimately appeal not only to the younger generation, but also to millennials and everyone above. Generation Z may wear them for style, while the others choose them for comfort, but either way, they are attracted to them. And that makes us very confident.

Keyword ‘confidence’ - how do you look back on business in the past year

and how has Replay’s 2024 begun?

We faced the same problems in 2023 as everyone else. 2020 was a very difficult year, especially in Europe, but it taught us not to overdo it with the numbers and to focus on our core business instead. We have learnt to focus on what is really important to us as a company - and we have been growing decently ever since.

Last year was ultimately a year of reflection. The geopolitical situation has had a major impact on consumption. 2024 looks very promising so far.

One effect on consumption is the ever-increasing trend towards more

durable products. How is Replay trying to integrate this topic into its sustainability strategy?

Sustainability is no longer just a marketing tool, but a necessity. It has to be part of the production cycle, but at the end of the day we have to strive for sensible consumption. When you think about real sustainability, it comes down to the durability of the product, how long it will be worn before it can be thrown away. We try to create products with value and quality that fit our customers' lifestyles. We want them to pay for something they will use again and again.

As a company, you have to be more conscious of what you offer and be more proactive in creating things that people care about. At the end of the day, even the products that "don't matter" might result in a sale, but that would be a sale that makes the world a worse place than it was before.

Is the current unrest in the Red Sea having an impact on your supply


From a logistical point of view, it was certainly complicated to coordinate the deliveries. Ultimately, however, I don't want to complain about a problem that I have, but rather bring a solution to the table. And in this case, a solution means focusing more on nearshoring. Our goal is not to affect our end users, so we are trying to change the strategy of what and where we buy our resources. We are definitely affected by this situation, but we have a solution.

I am looking to a positive future. That doesn't mean I'm happy, but I'm positive. In this case, positive means that I see a bright future despite the difficult circumstances. People strive to get better, even if we sometimes complicate things too much.

What is the focus for Replay - and the '9zero1' - in 2024?

We're launching a lot of content around the '9zero1', but ultimately we're trying to build a community and not just bring anyone or any ambassador on board just for the sake of it. All the people we have chosen to represent Replay and the relaunch of the jeans we have met personally. We are working towards a unified language for our future, all while doing something cool.

This is a beginning, not the end, and not a one-off. Over the course of the year, we will be making several upgrades to the '9zero1'. The bottom line is that it's not just about communication, but about delivering the best possible product for our customers.

This article originally appeared on FashionUnited.DE. Translation and edit by: Rachel Douglass.