PHOTO BY MARK CHO, TEXT BY Takahiro Osaki / MARK CHO
Taka has been with Liverano for ten years now and is the most developed of Liverano's proteges. I have great respect for Taka, having the drive to emigrate to Italy, keeping himself open to opportunities as they came along and eventually becoming Liverano's right hand man. Watching Taka work is always interesting for me. Our role as salespeople is not to act purely sell but to guide and advise. Sometimes we must say no to a customer's requests because we believe it will compromise the end result. I find Taka handles these situations especially well, both convincing a customer of his viewpoint and preventing any awkwardness, by clearly showing he wants what's in his customer's best interests.
1. Can you talk about how you got started with Liverano?
13 years ago, I met Antonio while accompanying my friend as an interpreter to Liverano to order a suit. I was a student at a language school in Florence back then.
I went back to Liverano with my friend for a fitting the 2nd time, and Antonio said to me: "You have got nice eyes, why don't you come and work for me?"
It was a bit of a surprise to be recruited like that, so I requested to come in and observe how they work first. At the end of the 1st week of observation, Antonio told me "there's nothing more you can see, if you want to join me now, come join, otherwise don't come back again". I have made up my mind at the spot and started as a sales person there.
2. You have been with Liverano for more than ten years now, how do you think you have grown and developed?
This is my 12th year working at Liverano now.
At that time, I mainly dressed in used clothing and trendy garments. Since I was a shoe pattern maker before, I have learnt classical designs and makes, had interest in classic style but never dressed myself in it before.
When I started working at Liverano, there were many things to learn from Antonio when dressing in a suit, for example, what colours to wear in which season, which ties and pocket squares combination should be used etc.
Now, I work with Antonio to find suitable cloths for customers, or direct making Liverano original scarves etc.
Antonio is truly warm-hearted person. He always told me "If you have an opinion, let me know, don't hesitate". However, being a typical Japanese, I was not certain if it is really allowed to give my honest opinion to my boss. After about spending 3 years with him, it did not concern me any more. Nowadays we are very close like family, I can tell him anything, it is not merely a business relationship.
Also, when I started working here, our clients were mostly Japanese and Italians. Since we have launched a shop-in-shop in Tokyo, we started to see more customers from greater Asia. After we have started working with The Armoury in 2010, we have even more International customers that support us continuously. I always get so much inspiration from meeting our customers.
3. How would you describe the Liverano look?
We present a "modern and coherent classic style". It's very simple, and can suit any generation.