Federico Marchetti, Founder of YOOX and CEO, YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP, Walpole Member

In order to be a successful luxury entrepreneur what are three pieces of advice you would give?

Maintain a clear vision and share it with your team.

Always focus on the customer.

Trust your instincts and be courageous.

What are the most important lessons you have learned along your journey?

In almost 20 years of entrepreneurship, the biggest lesson I have learnt is to have a strong vision and to execute it relentlessly.

And to execute you need great people who can turn a vision into reality and a strong support network of friends, family and mentors. At the end of the day, you cannot do it alone.

What are the watch outs along the way?

In 2000 we opened our virtual doors and began a revolution in the fashion industry that is still being felt today.

There were many challenges back then. Most people laughed at the idea of selling luxury fashion online, but we persevered and came out stronger.

Sometimes it would have been easy to think that we had arrived, that we had made it. In many ways we have: YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP is now a multi-billion euro business. But we never would have achieved this if we had allowed ourselves to be complacent and stood still.

When you were started out who was your biggest inspiration? And what did they tell you that helped make you a success?

Leonardo da Vinci has always fascinated me. His ideas were revolutionary as he saw beyond his own reality. He predicted the internet over 500 years ago, imagining that one day we would be able to connect one hemisphere with the other without being physically present in the same place.

I have tried to infuse da Vinci’s thinking into everything we do at YNAP: to see beyond what surrounds us today and create with the future in mind.