Forty-three years of history and a present that smacks of the future: at the Museum of Science and Technology SLAM officially presented its Dream Team, its new collection of technical clothing and sportswear, its partners and ambassadors
More than 200 guests attended the SLAM IS BACK event organised at the Museum of Science and Technology in Milan, during which the future of SLAM, the clothing brand founded in 1979 in Genoa, was unveiled. The brand was acquired in July 2021 by the Italian holding company VAM Investments, controlled by Francesco Trapani and led by Marco Piana, who chose Enrico Chieffi as CEO. Chieffi also entered the deal as an investor.
To open the event, invited on stage by Sky Sport journalist Eleonora Cottarelli, was Enrico Chieffi, world champion in the 470 and Star classes, tactician of the Moro di Venezia, two-time Olympian (in 1984 in Los Angeles and 1996 in Atlanta) and then successful manager for 23 years at Nautor’s Swan.
‘The first goal we set ourselves,’ said Chieffi at the opening, ‘was to come to represent the excellence of technical sailing apparel in the world. Hence the decision to become technical partners of the Italian Sailing Federation and to direct our operational strategy towards the creation of a ‘Dream Team,’ hence the sailing of champions. That of today’s Olympic sailing, that of tomorrow’s champions growing up on the Optimist, the offshore sailing for us represented by the maxi Arca SGR 100′ and the trimaran Mana. We also want to play a leading role in inclusive and sustainable sailing with One Ocean Foundation and the Leon Pancaldo project. Lastly, we have confirmed our partnerships with the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and the Yacht Club de Monaco”.
The CEO of SLAM.com continued: “We have revisited the original SLAM logo in a modern key and planned strategic choices that foresee the involvement of athletes and boats as true partners in our path of comparison, research and innovation on technical clothing to be tested on the various race courses in all weather conditions. In this way, the public that will purchase SLAM clothing in its different declinations of the PRO, CUSTOM and OUTDOOR lines, will do so with the awareness of the path that has characterised the product and with the certainty of its quality, also guaranteed by the competence of the champions that work alongside us. All this will soon be evident with the presentation of our new collection. At the same time we are offering the champions who work alongside us great media visibility to promote the world of sailing and to make them known to the general public. A visibility that you have certainly already appreciated today in the most important national newspapers and that you will appreciate even more for its public prominence, because it represents the main mission of our communication strategy”.
At the end of his speech, Chieffi invited Marco Piana, CEO of VAM Investment, on stage to explain the reasons for investing in the brand: ‘SLAM and the passion for sailing are intimately connected in the heads and hearts of all of us. In its 40 years of life SLAM has collected many stories to tell, SLAM first and foremost is Genoa, the spirit of Genoa with its lantern that appears with its coordinates on all our products, SLAM is also the young athletes that it sponsors and helps grow, it is Furio with his successes, who is here with us and with whom I had the honour of winning the Barcolana 53″.
Piana continued: “With Francesco Trapani, who is my partner, we asked ourselves who we would put at the helm of this dream, a difficult choice, because we live in a world that is made up of so many empty slogans and we wanted to make sure that Slam spoke of the sea and of concrete values. So we went to find a unique person not just around the corner, in Finland where Enrico was building boats for dreamers who don’t set limits on themselves, and we convinced him to join this adventure. He is a unique person because he is a manager who can lead a company with vision, with passion and in his spare time while others are resting, he wins European Championships as a young man. The challenge is not easy, we know that the goal can be very far away, but we have learnt one thing that those who love sailing more than the goal often manage to get very far”.
Eleonora Cottarelli then invited the President of the Italian Sailing Federation Francesco Ettore to the stage, who emphasised the importance of SLAM’s partnership and support to FIV for the four-year Olympic period 2020-2024.
SLAM IS BACK was the moment to officially present the SLAM Dream Team: a parterre of young, very young and more mature champions who took turns on stage answering questions from Enrico Chieffi and Eleonora Cottarelli. These were the Champions present for the occasion at the Museum of Science and Technology: Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti – Olympic Champions in Tokyo 2020 Nacra 17 class; Marco Gradoni and Alessandra Dubbini – World Champions 470 mixed class 2021; Mattia Camboni – silver medalist at the World Championship RSX 2021; Matteo Iachino – World Champion Slalom PWA 2016; Federico Alan Pilloni – World Champion Junior Windsurfer 2021; Sofia Renna – World Champion Youth Slalom iQFOIL 2021; Nicolò Renna, silver medal European Championship iQFOIL 2022; Jacopo Renna – 2nd cl. iQFOIL U.17 Slalom European Championship 2014; Davide Di Maria 2.4 Para World Sailing Champion 2019; Furio Benussi for the MAXI 100′ ARCA SGR, recent winner of the Tre Golfi regatta in Naples; Mauro Pelaschier for One Ocean Foundation and SLAM Ambassador. Absent due to competitive commitments: Tommaso Chieffi, Andrea Totis and Alice Linussi (470 mixed).
Particularly captivating was the moment dedicated to the Optimist class champions of tomorrow with the presence of a group of very young athletes accompanied by President Walter Cavallucci. With them on stage, the Tokyo 2020 Gold Medalists Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti together with Marco Gradoni, three years in a row Optimist World Champion and awarded, in 2019, the Rolex World Sailor of the Year award for this extraordinary hat-trick.
The SLAM 2022/2023 collection
Before the conclusion, the highlight of the event with the catwalk of honour dedicated to the new SLAM collection, inspired in its design by the latest technical innovation that has revolutionised the sailing world: foils. A sustainable collection in its strategic design choices with the return of production in Europe and Italy for 35% of articles and in the choice of materials and processing techniques used. A collection that is rational to the point of being essential, but at the same time able to offer almost 1,000 possible combinations with only 125 articles in the sample collection. Enrico Chieffi dwelled on these themes, stating, among other things, how respect for the environment is based on the common origins of seafarers and a strong culture of safeguarding the marine environment. Hence the strong and conscious all-round thrust on the theme of sustainability. Also present on stage was fashion designer Gianfranco Azzini, who has headed SLAM’s creative office for many years, and who wished to emphasise that for the first time he was pleased to share the creative table with a CEO, as well as with his style office team. The final unveiling was dramatic and impressive, when the lowering of the sails on the stage gave way to the live presentation to the public of a selection of the most technical and glamorous garments in the SLAM 2022/2023 collection.
SLAM IS BACK represented the official ‘kick-off’ for SLAM.com, which the company wanted and organised with strength and determination to regain its leading position on the national and international sportswear market.
(SLAM is back, in a special evening presented the Dream Team – Barchemagazine.com – June 2022)