03/09/2018

Helping Rapsodia Compete on a Global Scale

 


Background

With the goal of maintaining a global quality standard to compete in one of the most demanding markets, Argentine fashion company Rapsodia, turned to James Heal to help them develop their flagship new laboratory in Buenos Aires. We were of course delighted to help them achieve their ambition of creating the most complete state-of-the-art lab in the region, for their entire brand portfolio consisting of Rapsodia, Caro Cuore, Rhapsody Girls and Baby Cottons.


About Rapsodia

Rapsodia is a leading lifestyle and women’s apparel brand in Latin America. It was established in 1999 by Josefina Helguera, Sol Acuña, and Francisco de Narváez, Rapsodia is a premium hippie-chic inspired womenswear label. With the vast majority of its nearly 1,000 employees women, Rapsodia is a beloved and growing women’s lifestyle brand. Rapsodia currently operates 100 stores across six Latin American countries, Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Uruguay, Colombia, and Paraguay. The brand goes beyond apparel, with accessories, footwear and girls, home and lingerie products. For more information, see the online store: www.rapsodia.com.ar

We have big expansion plans and our goal is to reach new and more demanding markets like the US and Europe. James Heal is a renowned brand. When comparing price, quality, design and post-sale support, the choice was easy
Mariana Parodi, Laboratory Manager, Rapsodia
The Problem

Before working with James Heal, Rapsodia only had a few washing machines to perform appearance after washing, colour bleeding, and shrinkage tests. “We mainly tested everything with third party laboratories and this left huge expenses and delays,” commented Mariana Parodi, Lab Manager; which she says, “made lead times from design to market, much bigger.”

At this point, the company knew it needed to invest in its own lab, to be able to compete on a global scale, explains Mariana, “We have big expansion plans and our goal is to reach new and more demanding markets like the US and Europe. It was time to take a step forward regarding quality, to ensure garment performance and prepare to disembark in these new regions.”

The James Heal Solution

Rapsodia decided to work with James Heal, first and foremost, says Maximiliano, due to the brand’s reputation: “First of all, James Heal is a renowned brand. When comparing price, quality, design and post-sale support, the choice was easy.”

Commenting on the project, James Heal’s International Sales Manager, Javier Manzano, said: “As part of our close relationship with worldwide clothing brands, we relished the opportunity to set up a new James Heal laboratory at Rapsodia in Buenos Aires, Argentina, joining this event up with a full training session to share both parties’ impressions and experience. No doubt Rapsodia have already made a very successful progress going international within the Central and South American regions and after hiring a new Quality Team will be able to maintain positioning the quality of their products at the level customers expect as a result of this new investment.”

After several years of research and consulting focused on the customer and the quality of the garments, the brand has invested in assembling a laboratory with the most advanced equipment in South America, allowing us to compete in the playing level of the best Brands in the world,
Maximiliano De Miguel, Rapsodia
The Result

Lab operations began a few weeks ago, and Rapsodia acknowledges that the next few months will be a ‘learning curve’, as Mariana explains: “From here on, it is a learning curve, that we are confident in a few years will bring the results we expect. We will be able to study and analyze all our raw materials, create our own global standard requirements and make our suppliers understand how important quality is for us!”

As the company has been working with third party labs, they say the benefit of having their own in-house lab will be “to make the testing expenses lower and we will greatly reduce lead times. Our long term goal is to also offer our testing services to other companies.”

We asked Rapsodia what their favourite features and benefits of working with James Heal’s products and services:

Having touchscreens and a database with all worldwide standards pre-loaded makes everything incredibly fast and user friendly.
Juan Bautista Sosa, Rapsodia

So far the experience has been great. Purchase support, training and installation. Equipment quality and functionality. Definitely would recommend!
Mariana and Maxi, Rapsodia

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