The Ausoni boutiques already exist for more than six decades. Could you tell us a bit more about the boutiques' history?
Our great-grandfather, Eufonio Ausoni, opened the first original Ausoni boutique back in 1906 in Villars-Sur-Ollon. Back then, the boutique was known for selling sports equipment to tourists who came skiing in the Swiss Alps. Over the years, the assortment evolved and was later on replaced by prêt-à-porter and accessories. Our boutique in Lausanne, Olivier François Ausoni, was opened in 1954. Even then, this location was a prime spot, in the heart of the town where a lot of people walk by on a daily basis.
Since you are located in Lausanne, is tourism a critical aspect of your client base?
Tourists are important to us, but they aren't essential for the boutique. We are fortunate to have a loyal and local client base that has evolved along with the boutique over time. Nowadays, customers are a lot better informed than they were before thanks to the internet, social media and the rapid pace that information passed on. Due to this change of pace, clients want everything faster; they want it now - yesterday rather than tomorrow. Along with this need for speed comes a strong desire for exclusivity, to have something unique that others haven't seen yet. That's why we also develop our own collections, together with our suppliers, to provide our clientele with one-of-a-kind items.
Olivier François Ausoni is a huge boutique, but what kind of feeling do you want clients to have when they enter?
We want everyone who walks in to feel at ease, to feel comfortable and relaxed and to be curious and intrigued by what we offer. To us, a personal service, flexibility and quality are three keywords to describe a successful shopping experience. We strive on setting us apart from other luxury multi-brand boutiques by guaranteeing a unique and high quality, personal service. That's why we have an in-house tailoring service, a personal shopping team and complimentary drinks on offer for everyone who visits the boutique.
To offer this personal service, a good team must be of the greatest importance. What is the Olivier François Ausoni team like?
Right now, our team has 23 people. It's a team of equally professional people who all have a high level of empathy, are flexible, showcase team spirit and have an overall passion for the fashion business. To ensure that each customer gets the right level of personal assistance, each of our team members - including us when we're assisting clients - will do whatever is within their means to give them a satisfactory answer to their questions and needs, or help them in finding a sound alternative to their request. All of our clients are different, they all come with their style and their wishes, but everyone will be assisted by our team to make sure that each client leaves the boutique with a positive