It started with a silicone watch, which has now sold over 2 million pieces. Then wallets, bicycles, belts, bracelets, bags … and a partnership with Andy and Milo Manara.
Alessandro Fogazzi, Too Late’s “daddy”, talks about how a brand loved by old and young develops.
Alessandro, how and when did Too Late begin?
You might say it was a lucky consequence of one of my trips to New York in 2007, during which I saw a preview of the watch that would inspire our brand. I bought the first pieces of that colorful, eccentric timepiece at the MoMa design store: a silicone bracelet similar to the ones made for the fight against cancer, with a digital clock on them. It was so underrated that the patent holders themselves gave me the preliminary exclusive for Italy.
How did it end?
We made it better with a version for divers to please markets. Innovative glass packaging, the name ‘Too Late’ expressing irreverence and awareness, plus pricing/positioning previously non-existent; all contributed to immediate success, in just a few months.
Where do you get inspiration for your collections?
The company has several valid employees who work together as a team for the creative part. As a collective dreamer, I can tell you that the word ‘Collection’ “is not well-received. Often times we pay a high price for not keeping up with the timing and seasons in markets. We follow our creative instinct with love, devotion, and passion. Ideas? Henri Poincaré said, “Creativity is taking existing elements and connecting them to new ones”: we are not researchers nor descendents of Leonardo. Our creations are the result of our observations, our travels, and our research.
What followers does Too late target?
Very across-the-board. We want to be a young company for young people, but often enough we are liked by young and old alike.
Has the brand made a break through abroad?
Italy is still the country where we are most successful. We are (or were) present on most markets around the world and have consolidated rapports with Japan, Eastern Europe, and Central America.
What is 2L8 Lab?
An initiative aimed at opening the doors of the Too Late world to designers and artists who would like to work with us by giving them the opportunity to present ideas, projects, or experiements. Some of the results from the ‘Lab’ include work by artists like Francesca Pasquali and products like the 2L8 LAB Bracelet in stretch fabric and Ping Pong, a tennis bracelet … for all.
How did the partnership with Andy and Manara come about?
In 2009 I took part in one of p Andy’s exhibits and I fell in love with a close up of Al Pacino wearing a flashy gold watch. We met and did the same with a Too Late acid green watch on his wrist, then we came up with the capsule collection, watches that are real live works of art albeit educational: it was a hit. From then on numerous artists have offered to do the same and among them all we chose Milo Manara: the right amount of eroticism, irreverence, and elegance.
Soon we will be releasing new products from watches to accessories. In the long term, on the other hand, we want to become the first company to sell ‘liquid design’, so that maybe in a few years people will ‘download’ our products and make them themselves.