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Interview with Paola Santini from Santini’s Outfit

Do you know Santini ?

Cadel Evans, Bernard Hinault, Marco Pantani …they all have worn Santini’s outfit. Discover this famous brand in the cycling world with our « 15 questions interview » to Paola Santini.

The Santini’s brand is well-known in the cycling world but all our readers may not know the interesting story behind the beginning of this adventure that started in the 60 ‘s. Could you tell us how it all began ?
My dad started the company in 1965 by chance. He was a passionate cyclist and rode with great riders  like Felice Gimondi and Gianni Motta when he was a child. Unfortunately he was not talented enough and decided to use his passion for this sport in a different way. His sisters had a knitting laboratory. He joined and everything started from there.

Santini’s brand was born in Italy but it quickly sponsored professional french teams as well. Could you tell us a bit more ?
My dad had a vision that was very ahead of times in the ‘70s. He wanted to export the made in Italy, the quality of the products made in our country. The design and innovation. France was the first step as , at the time, it was the biggest country for cycling.  He set up a distribution company called Santini France (that still exists today) and started getting contacts for sponsoring teams in France. The rest, as they say, is history.

Why sponsoring professionnal team is so important for Santini ?
Two main reasons. 1. Brand Image 2. The riders feedbacks. We have a close relationships with our riders and they always test our products (also the ones that are destined to the public) and give us feedback. They are the best testers. And many times the ideas for new products come from them.

You are still producing everything in Italy. How do you manage to do that ? How many people work for Santini today ?
Around 80 people between production and offices. We are still producing in Italy because we started here and we owe a lot to our community. Some of our employees have been working for us for 40 years. It’s a family now. How can you tell your family you are going to abandon them because you have found a more efficient and cheaper option? It’s not our style. Plus, we couldn’t  have  the same control on the production of every single product if we had to produce in china. And also, we couldn’t provide the same service to our clients.

Carbon® technology, Epic®, Bio-ceramic, Auquazero.. It’s not just about clothing, it’s also technology . Isn’t it ?
It’s all about technology. Cycling is the sport where the technology of the gear is most important. Cycling clothing have changed completely. We passed from wool to Carbon, Silver, Bioceramic and many others. We are always looking for the next technology. It is one of our values. Innovation. Always.

You have a close relationship with Greenedge. Could you tell us why ?
Because of our long relationship with Australian cycling. We have been sponsoring the Australian national team since 2004 and we are sponsor of the Tdu. Australian cycling grew up with Santini clothing. And we are very proud. They are extremely demanding but they give a lot back too. Many suggestions and feedbacks come from our Australian riders.

What other cycling team do you sponsor ?
Vacansoleil-DCM, Katusha, Androni Giocattoli

Was 2012 a good year for all these teams ?
Oh yes. We had 3 Santini jerseys on the podium of the Giro. We were very proud.

Cadel Evans, Bernard Hinault, Marco Pantani have worn wear Santini’s outfit. Who are the famous riders wearing Santini’s in 2012 ?
Rodriguez, Goss, Gerrans, Hoogerland, De Gendt, and many others.

Are Santini’s outfit only for Pros ?  Why an amateur should also take a closer look at Santini’s product ?
Santini clothing is for everyone who likes cycling. We have something for everyone. The first time rider and the bike addict. Sometimes people start with our basic products, they grow up loving the bike and end up wearing super technical garments!

So you do only Cycling outfit ?
NO, we started doing triathlon clothing as well. And We have also a custom range for running. Cycling still remains our focus though.

Where can we buy Santini’s products ?
In many cycling shops and online. On our website there is a list of the best shops in France that sell Santini

What are the difference between dealers ? Do we find the same product in what you call an Official Distributor, Premium Dealer, Authorised Dealer ?
The Distributor sells to dealers/shops so not to the final consumer. The difference between a premium and an authorized dealer is that the premium has a bigger selection of Santini products.

You have a « Create you design » tool on your website, could you tell us more about it ?
It’s mainly a game to play with .For our custom clothing range  we offer a free design service. We have 4 qualified designers that work every day on hundreds of designs. The Create Your Design tool is just to demonstrate how many things you can do with the design of a jersey.

If we go on holidays in Italy, can we pop in Santini’s to visit ?
Of course! Just let us know in advance as we have a lot of people visiting during the year

Thank you Paola ! Ci vediamo !

Feel like riding in Italy ?

Discover the race sponsored by Santini : « Passo Dello Stevio » : 03/06/2013

How did the pros do ?


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