Arturo Fuente Cigars, one of the world’s most prestigious cigar brands, is launching a partnership with Stefano Ricci, one of the most reputable luxury outfitters for men’s fashion and lifestyle from Italy, with flagship stores at all major hotspots around the globe.
The joy was to be seen in the eyes of both the entrepreneurs: Cigar Journal had the opportunity to meet both Carlito Fuente, CEO of Arturo Fuente, as well as Filippo Ricci, creative director for Stefano Ricci, the iconic fashion label from Italy, at this year’s InterTabac and to exclusively find out more about their still dewy collaboration.
Family, quality, tradition, passion, and giving the consumer maximum satisfaction is what connects the two lifestyle experts. The result is – similar to the tailored suit – an especially created humidor with eight Fuente cigars that are made from a unique and limited blend.
Cigar Journal: How did you meet and when did you partnership begin?
Filippo Ricci: This is about fashion and cigars, a total lifestyle story. Of course, I knew Arturo Fuente Cigars – but I recently also had the opportunity to visit the company and Carlito Fuente personally in the Dominican Republic. And I love this family and the way they work and what they create. The whole spirit is unique.
Carlito Fuente: We planned the collaboration for a long time and were talking with Stefano Ricci. I’ve known this brand for a very long time. When, for example, I’m in Beverly Hills for events I drop in at Ricci – I love the fashion he does for men; they’re wonderful pieces. The leather, the fabrics … everything is beautiful and radiates perfection. It’s the most exclusive menswear in the world. But what truly fascinates me is that Ricci is a family business that goes back several generations. We’ve been around for over 106 years and this deep passion for work within the family tradition really connects us; and us numerous things – including our consumers: they are people who only want the very best. They celebrate their lives and manage to wear very special clothes or, as I hope, smoke a very special cigar. We both want to deliver the best quality.
CJ: As far as I know, you both grew up in the factory.
CF: (laughs). I was almost born in the factory. Seriously, my mother went home immediately after I was born and my grandparents lived in a flat that was directly attached to the factory – and that’s where my life began. I grew up there. That was and is my life – my roots and my culture, my love.
FR: My life started off similarly and my values are the same: Always quality over quantity, cultivating our origins, upholding our tradition. Working as a family is lucky, and moving in the right direction together also. Our mission is to always be focused on the very best; everything else comes afterwards. and the family heritage is fundamental. What fascinated me when I visited the Fuente factory was that everyone was smiling. This means that people love their work.
CF: Yes, the staff are like part of our family and I see them as artists that work with the finest material – the tobacco leaves.
FR: That also connects us. We work only with the finest raw materials and also want to pass on the knowledge of our profession within the family.
CJ: What exactly does the collaboration between Fuente and Ricci entail?
FR: We already sell accessories for cigar smokers – cigar cases, cutters and humidors. When we then met in person we decided to create something unique, and Carlito had his genius ideas. The result was the humidor, filled with eight Fuente cigars, especially blended for Ricci, branded with our two logos, the eagle, which lifts the Fuente emblem into the air.
CF: It’s the first time that our family has created a cigar that is not only sold under our label – that’s something really special. But I really believe in the Riccis and their company. The blend is unique. I looked for our best blends and of these I made a kind of fusion. It’s a very limited production and only a special roller of ours is responsible for it. In addition, in the near future there’ll be a new Fuente-Ricci accessory line.
FR: All the products will only be available exclusively – it is an honor for us and they complete our portfolio.
CJ: Mr. Ricci, are you a cigar smoker?
FR: Yes. I enjoy cigars and they relax me and give me special moments.