An in-depth research and colour-finding project recently completed in partnership with Clariant ColorWorks, resulted in Francesco Franceschetti Elastomeri (FFE), a supplier of thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) compounds, gaining an invaluable competitive edge in one of its primary markets – ski boots. But they've not told us the key colours.....
Founder Francesco Franceschetti said: “I saw an opportunity to show that our company is more than just a simple supplier of a raw material but also a company that has a vision … Clariant, as the colour expert and manufacturer, is in a similar position. [T]ogether we can show this market that we have a very deep understanding of the needs, of its vision and future. This is something totally new for the market.”
Beginning in June 2019, Clariant and FFE pooled their resources to conduct an exhaustive study of the Italian ski boot market. The outcome of this unique project would be a comprehensive report and guide, including five colours proposed for the 2021-2022 ski season, and it all started with fact-finding visits to a total of 13 boot dealers, ski shops and sports chain stores. This way, Clariant and FFE developed a thorough understanding of the needs of the different types of skiers.
Roberto Romanin, Designer at Clariant ColorWorks EMEA, added: “Based on the demographic information we gathered in our interviews with ski shop owners, and our colour map, we created three mood boards to define the different target personalities and match them with colours to be used as a design guide for new boots being developed now for the 2021-2022 ski season.”
Clariant and FFE representatives are back on the road introducing boot manufacturers to the research data and the five colours, which are moulded into proprietary Spiralis prototypes using the Irfran plastic materials that Franceschetti sells for high-end ski-boot applications.
Designers and stylists have expressed surprise when seeing how colour could be explained technically and as a story about the people who buy their products, according to a Clariant press release: “They told us that they never saw anything like this before,” Franceschetti added.
FFE and Clariant hope to make their ski-boot colour forecast an annual event, demonstrating that the partners not only supply materials, but understand the ski boot business and the needs of the manufacturers and customers.