Andy Warhol, Milan 1983

An archive of over 4 million images, ranging from classical art to the cinema, from graphics to celebrities and from food to the naïf. The Mondadori Portfolio boasts the sort of collection only a publisher with a hundred years of history could ever hope to achieve. And now this collection is no longer confined exclusively to partners looking for pictures with the right impact, the Mondadori  Portfolio project is taking it to market for retail and co-branding initiatives. Brand Jam interviews Elisabetta De Simone, Sales and Operations Manager of Mondadori Portfolio

Brand Jam: What is Mondadori Portfolio?

Elisabetta De Simone:  Mondadori Portfolio is a collection of photographs from Mondadori’s prestigious magazines – all household names in Italy. Starting from Epoca, which is considered the Italian equivalent to Life, and on through the likes of Grazia, Tempo and Panorama, we’ve used all our in-house MondadoriElecta experience and expertise to create an archive of thousands of pictures. Subjects range from Italian and European paintings, unique insights into classical, modern and contemporary architecture, masterpieces of sculpture, key archaeological sites and collections from leading museums.  There are previously unpublished collections and shots by some of Italy’s best-known photographers from the 1950s to the present day: names like Mario de Biasi, Walter Mori and Sergio del Grande. Mondadori Portfolio is a unique collection which narrates over a century of Italian history in terms of events, society, fashion and entertainment.

B.J.: You already have a number of consumer product projects up and running, can you give us a brief outline about that?

E.D.S: We have consolidated our expertise in consumer products over the years, mainly in the field of our art portfolio. Clients include some of the big names in the business, like Bassetti and Gut Edizioni. With them we’ve gone beyond the domestic market here in Italy and gained experience internationally.

B.J.: What sort of opportunities does Mondadori Portfolio offer retail businesses?

E.D.S.: We feel we can be valuable partners in helping exploit the new opportunities currently available in retail, opportunities which are showing growth. Some of the well-known companies we have worked with, like Sephora and Dolce & Gabbana, are already wired in to this trend: choosing and using exactly the right shot to present not just a product, but above all an idea, is the most effective strategy there is to grow and consolidate your brand.

B.J.: What targets have you set yourselves in developing your licensing sector?

E.D.S.: Well, we know we’ve got a lot going for us in terms of experience and expertise, so we’re concentrating on finding the best solutions to be ideal partners for any client, able to come up with exactly the right project to enhance that X factor which makes their business special. Which is why we think licensing is the obvious way to go, a sort of natural follow-on for what we do and who we are.

B.J.: So Mondadori Portfolio isn’t just your usual run-of-the-mill image stockists?

E.D.S.: Looking back, we now realise that was never all we wanted to do right from the beginning. We’ve always been aiming at providing material in the field of promotions, primarily culture, but also news, entertainment and, above all, communication. We’re unique on the Italian market: an agency which sees photos not just as simple physical props, but as a means to an end.

B.J. : Have you had any results yet?

E.D.S.: We’ve been commissioned to work on several projects, building up story boards around brands to project the product. It’s no news to anyone that the choice of the right picture is fundamental when it comes to communicating a product. Pictures are a universal language, understood by all.

What we offer our clients is the guarantee that we’ll be able to give them the right advice when it comes to making a choice.