But everything has a beginning and this is our story
The family tradition in leather goods starts with a great-uncle of the current owner of the brand, Aurelio Diloy, who began to manufacture saddlery products in a small town in Aragon. We talk about horse girths and the like. The founder of the company spent summers in town, and spent many hours in his uncle's workshop browsing about him. So far nothing to do even with watch straps, but with leather.
The first contact with the watch industry
In the 1960s the founder of the company, Gregorio López, began working with the Girod company as a trade representative, selling wristwatches until Girod closed. That's when the idea of making watch straps began to haunt him. He continued for a few years as a representative of several watch brands, selling Seiko, Citizen and Casio and selling some straps that he made completely by hand. When he started to sell those first digital watches, he saw that when the strap broke, there was no replacement possible and together with a partner they began to manufacture the first polyurethane (PU) resin straps in Europe as a replacement for Casio.
1982 is the date on which Gregorio Lopez (founder of the brand) ceases to be a representative to dedicate himself 100% to watch straps. In 1989 he established the company under the name of Lori Kuan, S.A. In those years, although I still made leather straps by hand, our strength was the Casio straps made of PU. The production of plastic is something 100% industrial and it tried to take what it learned in the plastic industry to the leather goods sector and little by little the artisanal production of leather straps was “industrialized” investing in molds, machines to make semi-turned, importing glues and special paint for leather because in Spain there was no, importing skins from Italy specially tanned to make watch straps, etc.
For many years we were a “white label” manufacturer, selling to many wholesalers under their own brands, but the core business was manufacturing rather than distributing.
In 1992, Gregorio Lopez Jr. (Goyo) joined the company. Like all young people, he wanted to do different things and he still did not know that some things “cannot be done”, so he decided to start exporting and the company began to open a market in Germany, Italy,… it made the leap to Latin America and began expansion by opening several branches in Mexico, Colombia, Panama, Poland ... But always with the same idea: White Label.
Goodbye to the white label. Diloy as a brand
Finally, the Asian competition forced us to take a turn. Our lifelong customers made an order on credit and they took time to pay, but with the money they owed us, they bought cheap goods in Hong Kong. That is, they competed with us with our own money.
At the end of 2003, we had exported more to Portugal than we had sold in Spain, so that Christmas we made a decision: Stop selling wholesale with private label and start selling under our own brand… but which one? And why not use the name of that saddlery in a small Aragonese town where Gregorio spent his summers during his childhood? What better way to pay homage to those memories linked to the smell of leather?
So we registered Diloy as a brand, we hired salespeople and we began to go on the market with the Diloy brand to compete with those who for many years had been our clients and who had stopped buying us to import Chinese products. This didn't make us too many friends. Curiously, some of those importing companies that have not seen a piece of leather in their lives are the ones that make up videos of national manufacturing and claim a national product, but that's another story.
We transfer the same scheme abroad and, today, 80% of our exports are under the Diloy brand and only 20% are the client's brand.
The current structure
Currently, we continue to be a family business with 100% Spanish capital and despite having offices in other countries, we continue to maintain our decision in Spain.