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South Africa, Consumer
Marroquinera is a luxury leather manufacturer and fashion retailer that began in 1978 with three sewing machines. Since its inception, the company’s flagship brand, Mario Hernández, has become Colombia’s most well known brand, providing high-quality luxury products at “affordable luxury” prices. In 2009, the company launched *FLY, a new brand focusing on low-cost design to reach a different set of customers.
Founder Mario Hernández was born in Santander. Following his father’s death when he was ten, Mario worked as a peddler, concert organizers, and coffee stand proprietor before learning the leather trade. In 1978 he founded Marroquinera, a leather goods manufacturer. The company survived the end of Colombia’s manufacturing boom and reinvented itself as a retailer, marketing leather products under its own label: MARIO HERNÁNDEZ.
Mario Hernández Zambrano’s son, Mario Hernández Pérez earned his MBA from Columbia Business School. He returned to Bogotá in 2006 to join Marroquinera as VP of Operations. He has led retail expansion in Colombia, Mexico, Panama, and Venezuela, and has since been elevated to position of CEO. His sister, María Fernanda Hernández Pérez, earned her MBA in Luxury Brands from ESSEX Management School in Paris.
Currently, the company’s value is driven by the luxury lifestyle consumers associate with the brand. Because Marroquinera is vertically integrated, the company controls the entire production process for their leather goods, enabling them to rotate products multiple times per month.
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