Aurore rezzoagli is a bona fide woman. Born and brought up in Paris and at 18 moved to Sydney. She has traveled to a lot of places; which ultimately embraces her passion for exploring. She expressed her opinions on travel retail, followed by her experience.
DutyFreeList in conversation with Aurore Rezzoagli on the occasion of International Women’s Day!
Your current role and a short brief.
I am the Global Travel Retail Manager at the Festina group, a prestigious international company specialised in the production and marketing of popularly priced watches, movements and precision parts.
Currently, the Group manufactures five brands of watches for the general public (Calypso, Lotus, Festina, Jaguar and Candino) and distributes two jewellery brands (Lotus Style and Lotus Silver). The Group’s head office is located in Barcelona while its major production centres are in Switzerland and Spain.
I have developed and am currently executing the strategy for expansion in Travel Retail world-wide; currently we have 250 points of sales in airports, cruise lines, in-flight and border stores and growing.
What sparks passion in you about travel retail, travel and tourism?
I am a millennial who grew up living in different countries. This resulted in a lot of travelling and having friends in the four corners of the world.
I was born and raised in Paris, France and at 18 I moved to Sydney, Australia.
Since then I lived in the Netherlands but today I am happy resident of sunny Barcelona, a Travel Retail destination by definition. After some initial work experience in merchandising and marketing for some well know Spanish fashion retailers, I made the natural step towards Travel Retail through the functions I had. I was only 26-year-old but I felt a deep connection with the industry since day 1.
Over time I have been able to witness how the industry has grown and how brands are now considering the development of TR and Duty Free as a strategic distribution channel. Personally I see the sector as a new opportunity for brands to engage with customers and what makes it exciting to me is the way we constantly push ourselves to offer differentiation and experimentation no matter the product category. I feel really lucky and privileged to be working on the 6th continent.
Who is your women role model?
I have to sat my mum. My mother raised a family of 5, literally on her own so you could say she is one of the best multi-tasking managers I know!
Advice for young women in your and other industries?
Trust your instincts and be sure of yourself, learn from your mistakes (and those of others where you can 😉 and go for it!
Who would you thank as a mentor in your career?
Its really hard to say, in fact I have many mentors going from my teachers, my colleagues and bosses. Deep inside I know that my biggest mentor is my grand-father. He was a business man with a lot of vision and he was a powerful role model to follow.
It is definitely thanks to him that I am here today. I grew up as the only girl amongst my brothers and cousins, he taught me from a young age the values I hold dear which are part of my daily life, to stand up and to be honest at all time.
What celebrities inspire you ?
Eleanor Roosevelt. I have a quote from her stuck above my computer! She is the perfect example of someone who worked very hard to build her own career as well as developing her own personal and professional circle. She wisely said “Do one thing every day that scares you” and I must say I live by that quote.
What was the last gift you bought at duty free and gave someone?
A really nice silk scarf from La Mallorquina as a Christmas present for a dear friend.
Innovations that you are looking forward to in technology/ social media?
Every February Barcelona hosts the Mobile World Congress. Each year I wait to see what are the latest innovations and leading edge technology and I must say that this year I was impressed by the new Huawei Mate X… its 5 G connectivity and comes in the shape of a folding design… IMPRESSIVE!