If you think that the world of banking and sportswear have nothing in common, the newly announced partnership between Alpian and Fourteen may push you to think again. We had the chance to speak to Andrea Picciau, Fourteen CEO to hear why a leading Swiss sportswear brand chose to team up with Switzerland’s first digital private bank.
Hi Andrea! Fourteen’s journey has been pathbreaking. Could you tell us more about how it all began?
I created Fourteen in 2011 in Geneva with a simple idea – to combine Swiss precision with Italian style. The goal was to create high-quality products with unlimited customization options. This didn’t exist in the market then, and we wanted to be the first ones to do it.
That sounds fascinating. How did this vision come to life?
First, we created some team line products for football & basketball in Switzerland, then expanded to tennis and many other sports. At the beginning of 2018, we started working with the Swiss Federation and equipped the Swiss Basketball team and some international teams for the Olympics game. As far as I know, we have already won 2 Olympic gold medals!
We also became the official supplier for several luxury international events and began to build many partnerships. In 2022, we moved to our new headquarters in Geneva with a brand-new showroom and we still have our European office in Cagliari.
And now you’re going beyond sports. How did you become the preferred clothing partner for well-known organisations?
By offering high-end products with the best material, we created a strong reputation for ourselves in the sporting world. We built on the strength of this foundation and began collaborating with luxury international events as an official supplier and partner. These two solid proof points gave us the experience needed to work with organisations like international schools and global companies. And since 2022, we have even started to develop a strong partnership with Alpian.
Alpian and Fourteen share a lot of the same values. Our clients are our top priority. We operate with integrity and authenticity. And we are constantly evolving to create unique, human-centric experiences.
It is uncommon for a sportswear company to partner with a bank. What inspired you to build a partnership with Alpian?
I believe it’s not that uncommon for those with shared values to form partnerships. And that’s what brought us together with Alpian. Alpian and Fourteen share a lot of the same values. Our clients are our top priority. We operate with integrity and authenticity. And we are constantly evolving to create unique, human-centric experiences.
Was it shared values alone that brought you together?
Another aspect that brought us together was Alpian’s drive to challenge the status quo in their industry. For example, they want to be the first bank that allows its employees to come dressed in a sporty-chic style. Changing the conventions in any industry is a challenge. For us, it was a long journey to be the first brand in Switzerland with the ability to produce high-end sports products that are 100% customizable. So we understand their drive. With all this in common, the idea of a partnership just clicked.
What has been the outcome of the partnership?
As both companies are youthful and dynamic, we work well as a close team. I believe there is potential to combine our strengths to be the best in our respective markets. To kick off our collaboration, we have created a webshop for those who share our values. You can look forward to a range of carefully crafted products that reflect the attention to detail that Fourteen and Alpian have for their customers.
That’s a great start! As a final question, what advice would you give to young entrepreneurs starting a business?
First of all: work hard & be patient! It takes time to develop and grow. You must put in a lot of effort to see the fruit of your work. Also, learn to recognize opportunities in difficulties. They are often the same thing looked at from different perspectives.
What’s next for Fourteen? Are there some milestones ahead?
Yes, of course! First, to be known around the whole world as a unique and high-quality brand. To expand our corporate partnerships. But above all, we want to make sure that we stay rooted in our values, no matter how many milestones we achieve! Also, another milestone is on the horizon – we are going to be the new sponsor of two of the best Swiss tennis players.
Thank you, Andrea!
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