Maya Maya is an exclusive Swiss outdoor clothing brand that produces high-quality and uniquely designed pieces for those who love to ski, mountaineer, trek, and run. Here, RLI spends some time with company CEO Vivien Takács to learn more about the origins of the brand and how they are looking to extend their footprint.
Founded several years ago, the vision of the Maya Maya founders is to always design and create for eternity, be unique, exclusive and stay limited. The brand manufactures products for those adventurers who want to be constantly travelling and exploring the world.
The company’s inspirations and collections come from the myth of civilisations and their culture and art. Two good examples of this are the Omo Tribe and the Mayans and it is this opportunity to adopt a touch of ancient art and display through its collections that differentiate the brand.
In the wake of the pandemic, the company changed its wholesales concept. They neutralised the threats that their upcoming franchise partners could face, they reorganised their supply chain, created a global back-office, established a unique digital environment and began work on a new multisensory smart store and a never-before-seen franchising concept.
“While the majority of brands were focusing on increasing online sales during lockdowns, we decided for a more “blue ocean” approach. We were focused on coming back to the market stronger after lockdown. That is how we developed our franchise and multisensory smart store concepts,” explains Vivien Takács, CEO of Maya Maya.
The company currently operate four flagship stores, situated across Landquart in Switzerland, Brenner in Italy, Zagreb in Croatia and Virolahti in Finland. Their first multisensory smart store is set to open in December, while spring 2022 will see the launch of the first franchise multisensory smart stores.
The business model of their franchising concept is best represented by the slogan: ‘Franchising simplified, your returns magnified’ and they have a great set-up already in place ready to support their franchisees to help them perform to their best.
“With our new store, we intend to activate all five senses of the customer while they are in our store. We will create a dynamic atmosphere for the customer which corresponds to their needs, whereby all five human senses will be synchronised. The store will also be totally digital, which will help the customer to navigate by themselves and they can also connect to our web-shop, in case there is an item missing,” Takács highlights.
When discussing new markets, the CEO says that they are on the lookout for opportunities and that they do not want to prioritise countries, but rather markets and locations where their customer have the same spirit and mind-set as the brand.
The goal is to reach a very exclusive digital store coverage across the world over the next five years that can support their websales. They are looking for long term stability and they are determined to keep their distribution very exclusive.
Maya Maya customers are aware that the collection the brand offers is unique, limited and that styles are never repeated. Many of their customers are collectors and they purchase items as if they are rare art pieces, another reason for the business to stay fresh, innovative
Being on the cutting edge is their mission – they have professionals testing the garments, labs testing the materials and a wide and highly sophisticated supply chain. They are continuously looking for new technologies and materials which could improve their products. They are always seeking the best for their customers in terms of quality, design and trends.
For Maya Maya, customer service is essential; they train their staff to always serve the needs of their customers, to create a great atmosphere when they are in the stores and to find solutions to customer problems. This level of service helps to build customer loyalty because once they experience the quality in-store offering, they want to return and sample the brand again and again.
“Human connection is, and always will be, of the greatest importance to us. All the digital technologies we intend to use in the online and physical shops will be used more as supporting activities. In the physical shops, we will continue selling as person-to-person, and digital technologies will be used solely as a selling tool,” says Takács.
A critical factor in their success has been their transparency and this is something they will continue in the future. Vivien outlines that when it comes to sustainability, the company are opposed to fast fashion and they instead stand behind their high-quality clothing that can stand the test of time. To back this up, all of their technical garments come with a lifetime warranty, where customers can leave the items for repair for free.
They have also recently partnered with a take-back scheme partner, with whom they are already collecting old Maya Maya garments and giving them a second life by either reusing or recycling.
“Furthermore, ethical sustainability is another thing we take very seriously. For the new collection inspiration, the Mayan, we have partnered with artisans in the Guatemalan highlands, the descendants of the Maya civilisation. We purchased some of their traditional Mayan handwork, which we are giving to our customers as a gift, rather than selling them. With each new upcoming civilisation as our inspiration, we will continue to cooperate and support the local communities, just as we are currently supporting the descendants of Mayas.”
As the interview reaches its end, Takács says it is dedication, a great mission and believing in the brand that are the key drivers behind the success they’ve enjoyed over many years. She feels the brand is very special and deserves to be known, and they are determined to achieve that in the future.
“We want Maya Maya to become the most desired outdoor fashion brand. This is what we are fighting for and it is the challenge facing both me and the company.”