There are few individuals in the menswear field with as rich and varied — or as fascinating — a background as ALODD founder Aldo Lipari.
A resident of Singapore for the past eighteen years, Lipari first relocated to the city-state to run Bally’s operations in the region, serving as the Swiss luxury brand’s CEO of Southeast Asia and Oceania from 2009 to 2014 — where he was responsible for driving sustained year-on-year growth, and reaffirming Bally’s position as a luxury leader across the territory. Previously, he’d headed up Bally’s Australian and New Zealand operations as Managing Director from 2006 to 2009. During the three-year term of his leadership in the antipodes, thanks to the restructuring and retail repositioning spearheaded by Lipari, and the guidance he provided to headquarters on creating appropriate product for the market, Bally’s Aus/NZ business experienced remarkable growth.
Lipari was born in Somalia — where his Italian father, a successful entrepreneur, was the national agent for Mercedes-Benz and a major importer of Italian food, medical and construction supplies — and lived in the east African country until his late teens, when his family relocated to Italy. Prior to heading for Australasia, he had been Italy Country Manager for Bally, and held senior retail director’s positions with Giorgio Armani (where he was responsible for servicing the VIP and celebrity clientele) and Gucci (during its Tom Ford-designed glory days). Lipari was deeply affected by his time in Australia. “It very much shaped my approach to management, and to life,” he says. Of his years living in Singapore, where he continues to reside, Lipari says, “it’s been amazing to be in this part of the world during a period of such staggering growth, which is only going to continue.”
“Complete devotion. Utter concentration...”
Another experience Lipari cites as having made a dramatic impact on his outlook — one that’s worlds away from the easygoing nature of life Down Under or the climate-controlled comfort of Singapore — is the five years of his youth he spent in the Italian Navy’s elite Special Forces unit Arditi Incursori Marina. Getting through the training / elimination process to qualify for the unit, says Lipari, “is definitely one of the most difficult things on earth. Less than a third of those who begin the training actually graduate. It requires complete devotion, utter concentration. You can fail any time during the training process — any day might be your last. And of course, if you do manage to graduate, you never stop training — diving in freezing seas for hours on end, in the middle of the night; parachuting; combat training… After you’ve been through that experience, you can overcome anything. Nothing is ever going to be as hard as what you’ve already made it through.”
Lipari says it’s a combination of these many life and professional experiences that have led him to now found his own men’s footwear and accessories brand, ALODD.
“Obviously, if you look at my time as a member of the Incursori in the navy, I’m not afraid of risk and facing challenges or obstacles, and I think that really ties in with the entrepreneurial spirit,” Lipari says. “With the luxury brand and men’s fashion background I have — 30 years’ experience, coming from a senior officer level in Incursori to the lowest rung of the fashion world, starting from the stockroom and working my way up to CEO, doing every job in between — I can handle all aspects of the business: design, manufacturing, retailing, distribution, branding and management. This allows ALODD to eliminate the overspending and inefficiencies that a big company will have, the costs of which are passed on to the consumer, and instead deliver a great quality product at a very reasonable price.
“I’m very much at home in the Asia Pacific / Southeast Asia region and have a strong understanding of what the customer here wants, what the climate and lifestyle require. But I’m also Italian, with an immense appreciation for quality and craftsmanship.”
ALODD’s promise, says Lipari, is to deliver authentic, 100 percent Italian-made quality and style, at a remarkably reasonable price point. It’s a winning combination. “That’s one of the reasons for the name,” says Lipari. “We offer ALODD.” Stressing that ALODD isn’t a typical ‘luxury’ brand — “that word is so overused, and often just equates to an excess of gloss and marketing” — Lipari says that instead, the company offers a fresh perspective.
“I often think of that scene from ‘Dead Poets Society’ where the teacher encourages his students to stand on their desks and look at things from a new angle. That’s what we’re doing with ALODD,” Lipari says.
“It’s not overpriced, overhyped ‘luxury’; nor is it ‘affordable luxury’ — whatever that is! It’s just seriously great quality, style and comfort, at a great price.”
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