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How we celebrate the Alumni Christmas Cup 2022

PhotoAdolfoMoreno/FBA 2023 Program Students

16 | 12 | 2022

The afternoon that Madrid wanted to surpass Venice, some intrepid people managed to get to ISEM's headquarters in Marquesado de Santa Marta to celebrate Christmas and talk about what we love most, fashion.

Almost a hundred alumni came last Wednesday to ISEM headquarters to celebrate the traditional Christmas Cup, despite the deluge and the monumental traffic jam that collapsed Madrid. The banality of commenting on the weather gave way to the joy of the reunion and an interesting colloquium with Fran Marchena, CEO and founder of Hoff. 

Just landed from Washington, our dean, Teresa Sádaba, welcomed the attendees and announced ISEM's big project for next year: The Ministry of Education has given the approval to a new fashion program, this time aimed at recent graduates, the Master in Fashion Management (MFM). For the first time, ISEM will host a full-time program, from Monday to Thursday, offering students the possibility to choose an international experience based on two intensifications, Sustainability in Amsterdam or Digitalization in London. 

In addition, the dean invited all alumni to participate in the various events that ISEM will offer throughout the course. The first of them is the Fashion Innovation Day of Atelier, which will take place on February 15. 

ISEM Christmas Cup 2022

After Teresa's words, Fran Marchena began his discussion paper by telling the audience the story of Hoff and his own. Marchena was born in Elche, where his father had a shoe factory, but he decided to develop his degree program towards the world of banking. After 10 years, in 2016, he wanted to refocus his career path by launching 10 models of a different pair of sneakers. "At that time, everyone had white snickers," he notes, "and we launched ones with a lot of color, made of various materials and with a screen-printed sole. It was a very different product, even the packaging was customized." The founders supervised the product, made the ad copy and learned from Latin tutorials how to post advertising on Facebook. 

Hoff's storytelling has been his strong point. "It often happens to me that someone comes up to me and says, 'My wife has the Madrid and the Praga. In what other brand of sneakers do people learn the names of the different models?"
After exponential growth, in 2019 they decided to go for wholesale sales. At that time no small brand was doing it because the margins are high, instead now they get a lot of calls asking them committee in this regard. "For us, launching the brand in luxury spaces, such as the Palacio de Hierro in Mexico, has enabled us to scale. Now the wholesale channel accounts for 55% of our turnover, another 25% is online and 25% retail." 

This scalability has meant that, from 2020 to 2021, its turnover went from 5 to 17 million euros. This year, Hoff's strategy has focused on moving from a single-product catalog to being a lifestyle brand. "We have to offer more variety," Marchena pointed out.

After the colloquium, attendees enjoyed a Christmas cocktail where we met again, remembered old times and toasted until the next meeting.