Creative Director aka. Chief Virtuoso
Member of the Directors Board
The passion for fashion, art and music has accompanied Mariano Ronny Sulmoni since childhood. His professional career, however, led him first to the publishing industry, where he gained experience in marketing and also as an editor.
The desire to pursue a creative activity where he can bring all his talent, he could never find. Until (due to a coincidence) he applied to the Kandahar shoe manufactory.
A CHALLENGING START
The water into which Mariano Sulmoni was thrown was really ice cold: the 31-year-old had applied on his own initiative as a designer at Kandahar Schuhmanufaktur, was accepted and was to spend the first two years looking over Dieter von Allmen's shoulder at work and learning. Then, in July 2017, Dieter von Allmen had a fatal accident while paragliding. The young man from Biel stepped into his shoes and, as Creative Director, has since been taking care not only of design, but also of marketing, communications and purchasing.
"It was with great awe that I accepted the challenge of continuing the work of Dieter von Allmen. Since the beginning it has been important for me to identify the common synergies and to combine the aesthetics of Kandahar with mine ». Mariano Ronny Sulmoni
A NEW CHAPTER
Together with Managing Director Manuel von Allmen, who represents the third generation of the family, Mariano Sulmoni initiated a rejuvenation throughout the company.
Six years ago, then still under Dieter von Allmen's management, the model CHILL was launched, Kandahar's first sneaker. Due to the great demand for something new and the general innovation of the company, Mariano Sulmoni launched the new URBAN sneaker collection in April 2018, after only 6 months in the manufactory.
"We have many customers over 40 who want a shoe with urban, classic cut, style, colors and details, but do not want to give up the proven quality of Kandahar. These we can serve with the URBAN collection." the designer says.
A NEW WEBSITE
In order to appeal to younger generations - not in terms of price but in terms of fashion - Mariano also modernized the company's appearance. What led him to create a new website and launch the first online shop of the small shoe manufacturer.
A NEW LOGO
Although the name Kandahar was already on all shoes before, a proper branding was missing. So Mariano Sulmoni commissioned a Swiss graphic designer, Toya Birke von Graevenitz, who created the new logo from parts of the old lettering.
He explains, "The new logo exemplifies Kandahar's transformation. We don't want to give up our tradition, we don't want to scare away our customers, and we still see Swiss quality and craftsmanship as our top priority. Nevertheless, it was time to change small parts in order to continue to be able to do what we do best: Good footwear."
The new logo was quickly followed by new stationery and other office supplies.
As Creative Director it is a joy for Mariano Sulmoni to create new concepts for advertising campaigns.