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In this edition of The Style Sheet’s 20 questions series, we sit down with Lorenzo Boglione, Executive Vice-President of BasicNet — the Italian company with a range of beloved brands in the fashion, footwear and accessories arena. These brands include K-Way, the cult sports brand that created the first-ever windbreaker jacket in 1965. Known for its lightweight material, bright colour options, tricolour stripes, and packable and revisable functionality, the original K-Way waterproof jacket is one of those iconic genderless wardrobe staples that you’ll wear (and spot on the streets) time and again. But the brand offers a whole range of sporty essentials that make stylish athleisure and weekend dressing a breeze.

Here, we ask Lorenzo about business advice, his style philosophy, his recent trip to Hong Kong to open K-Way Pacific Place, and more.

1. How would you describe the heart of K-Way?

It's an outerwear brand born from the invention of the windbreaker. The moment in 1965 when Léon-Claude Duhamel had this idea of a modern jacket, a different jacket. The world was dominated by umbrellas and big coats, and then a guy had an idea to put nylon on a jacket and make it foldable so you can always have it with you. That’s pure innovation. It’s how K-Way became what it is and invented a new category of products. The innovative part of the brand is very fundamental.

2. It’s easy to spot people wearing K-Way, particularly in Italy and France. How does it feel to see people wearing the brand?

It’s extremely fun! It gets to a point where it’s almost scary you see so many people wearing it but then you think there’s a huge market. And you feel a responsibility for it, because you always have to deliver proper products and high quality. So, it’s mixed feelings.

3. You were recently in Hong Kong to celebrate the K-Way opening at Pacific Place. How does your Hong Kong customer differ to those in Europe or the rest of the world?

I think consumers may like a different colour or a different shape, but in the end, they’re attracted by quality and design.

4. Did you notice anything specific to the Pacific Place store?

I noticed that the people who went in were attracted by the colour. When I walk around shopping malls, I often see brands that aren’t so brave in terms of colours — there’s a lot of black, a lot of white. Colour is one of the pillars of our brand, which people are naturally attracted to. Then they come and touch the product, they feel the quality and they buy, even though our brand isn’t so well known in Asia yet.

5. What makes the K-Way windbreaker stand out?

We originated the windbreaker in 1965. You can look it up in French and Italian dictionaries and it will say the world’s first windbreaker is K-Way. So for me, the important part is we’re the original.

6. What K-Way pieces are you wearing on high-rotation right now?

The puffer jacket is a very useful piece during these colder months but, all year long, probably my most worn piece is the windbreaker vest — it’s flexible, it keeps you warm, and it’s not too big. I travel a lot and use it when I’m indoors when there’s air conditioning. You can wear it under a blazer and over shirts, so it’s a very important layering item.

7. Who are you most excited to see wearing K-Way?

We’re not a PR-obsessed company — K-Way is for everybody. Madonna was wearing K-Way a few months ago, and we’ve had a lot of celebrities wearing K-Way, but it’s not something that we strive for, it’s about seeing people in the street.

8. What do you wish you had known about business ten years ago?

Honestly, I think we’ve achieved more as a group than I could have dreamed of. I’d leave everything the way it is!

9. What about your career makes you the proudest?

When we put a position up for hiring, we have hundreds of people wanting to come work for us. I think we’ve created a company with an extremely good reputation. When people are happy to come work for us, and stay, that’s the best achievement. Profits can come and go, but the fact that people are happy working here is the most important thing.

10. What do you think the world needs more of?

I think everybody needs more of something different — so I wish for everybody to get more of what they wish for!

11. What’s the first thing you do every morning?

I wake up my kids, if they’re not already up, and start pushing them to get dressed and go have breakfast!

12. What do you wear most days?

The sports jacket I’m wearing now is something I wear a lot. It’s Suprega, another of our brands, and I have it in three different colours, which I wear about half of the time.

13. BasicNet has an incredible knack for injecting brands with newness and cool factor. Tell us about that. 

It’s not easy to explain, it’s just something that’s in our DNA and we do. The choice of the brands we bring in is extremely important because we’re aware that we couldn’t do it with just any brand, so we try to invest in those where we see the opportunity.

14. BasicNet is a family business. What’s the best part of working with family?

The best part is for sure that you’re in constant connection with your family. I know a lot of people that have their family thousands of kilometres away, but me, my brother and my father get to speak at least 20 times a day about stuff that we’re passionate about.

15. What’s the most challenging part? 

It comes with a lot of responsibilities too and, of course, challenges on occasion because there are personal dynamics and professional dynamics. But again, there are many more privileges than challenges.

16. What’s your style philosophy? 

I think the most important part is feeling comfortable with what you wear. You have people with great style, but if I were to wear what they wear, I wouldn’t feel comfortable. For me, I know I have to be sporty to be comfortable, although sporty doesn’t always mean you have to be in a tracksuit and trainers.

17. What’s the best purchase you have ever made?

I bought my first house six months ago, and I was dreaming of that house for a long time, so I’m very happy and proud that I’ve managed to actually get my hands on it.

18. Where do you see K-Way in ten years?

Honestly, I’m very satisfied with the position we have in terms of image and brand positioning, but I hope for it to be more global, to be as you see it in Italy or in France everywhere in the world.

19. What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

Always kind with people because you never know how things can turn around in life.

20. Do you have a life motto? 

Not really — I just try to do the best I can every time, every day.