an entrepreneurial story that went viral thanks to Messi

“We come from a family of industrialists. One day we started selling footwear products and, without realizing it, decided to create our own brand. We had everything we needed. This is how it was born Bagunza 10 years ago,” he says. Luciano Gianci, the creator of the brand together with his parents Nestor and Roxana and brothers Emiliano and Mauro.

The venture went viral when Lionel Messi shared an Instagram story wearing the flip flops days after winning the World Cup in Qatar with Argentina in December 2022. The photo that changed everything.

A design that was in fashion.  Inspired by Messi, they were later produced for the Copa America.  A year ago, they went viral thanks to Lionel's post.  Photo: Courtesy of Bagunza.A design that was in fashion. Inspired by Messi, they were later produced for the Copa America. A year ago, they went viral thanks to Lionel’s post. Photo: Courtesy of Bagunza.

History is not for the faint of heart

“In 2021, we gave power to the project and started producing our own models of flip-flops. If a team wins the Copa America that year, We decided to pay tribute to Lionel Messi and that’s where Mess10 was born. the same model that he used almost two years later,” Gianci recalls.

The idea to send him to a football player was born in the middle barbecue with friends. It was not easy, but when they heard the word “Messi”, they did not leave their heads and began to do everything possible so that the captain of the national team had his personal flip flops.

“We first contacted the AFA press office and immediately started working on the famous box, which also attracted attention with its design. It was one thing for Messi and another for Rodrigo de Paul: it was impossible to do for the whole team and for this reason the press tells us it was impossible. “The team is very close-knit and it’s all or nothing,” was the official response, he comments.

They didn’t have time. The national team came to the playoffs for the last time, and if not, then we had to wait until March. They needed another option. There Gianzi remembers that a football teammate with whom he played as a child communicated with Rodrigo De Paul.

“We sent a photo of the flip flops. And when De Paul saw them, he asked us to take them immediately to the AFA property, in Essays. Finally we leave them a place full of gifts for all players. The next morning I received a message from Rodrigo’s aunt.

He said that he and Lionel liked the flip-flops and that they were going to take them to Europe. These words were like touching the sky with your hands. Because it was never a commercial gift for us we wrote them a letter thanking them for the America’s Cup.

Also, I told them it was the best week of my life because I had my daughter on the 8th of July and we celebrated the cup on the 10th. My wife told me to add Instagram and thanks to that we later heard from her again,” says Luciano, who still can’t believe that December 6 received a personal message from Lionel Messi.

Viral.  Messi's Instagram story with Antonella Rokuzza, Sofia Balbi and Luis Suarez wearing Bagunza flip flops.  Photo: Instagram @leomessiViral. Messi’s Instagram story with Antonella Rokuzza, Sofia Balbi and Luis Suarez wearing Bagunza flip flops. Photo: Instagram @leomessi

“I have blurry images from that day, I didn’t know if it was a joke or not, but there was a notification. I immediately told my brothers and happiness was absolute. He asked us for flip flops for his wife and children, we agreed that we will deliver them to him in January 2023.

We left them in AFA ownership again and it wasn’t until they won the Finalísima against Italy in July that Lio thanked us. We still couldn’t believe it, and months later Antonella Rakuzza asks if we could do more for the childrenthat father is going to Qatar in a week when we can get them ready.

Obviously we said yes, we worked day and night to be able to fulfill the order. And when we go to deliver them, he writes to us apologizing that he made a mistake and that his father has already left. The disappointment didn’t last long, because I immediately contacted friends who were also traveling, and they brought flip-flops,” the creator of Bagunza continues.

Over 20,000 orders.  Following Messi's post on his Instagram account, demand skyrocketed.  Photo: Instagram @leomessiOver 20,000 orders. Following Messi’s post on his Instagram account, demand skyrocketed. Photo: Instagram @leomessi

The wait was worth it

This was Luciano’s last connection with the Messi family On December 23, Lionel shares a story from his Instagram account using flip-flops. He was with Antonella, Luis Suarez and his wife. The 24 hours that the image lasted on the social network changed everything.

For us it was before and after Messi. We get messages from journalists, producers… Well, for three days we were the Rolling Stones We were more or less in all the media. Unbelievable. But we also had a problem, the model was old, we used it for the America’s Cup. For the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, we did a new one, but obviously everyone wanted Messi. We had the inventory, but we weren’t prepared for the demand we had. At once there were more than 20 thousand orders“Everything went so fast that we had to find companies to help us with the production,” he says.

“Fortunately, within a month we were able to get to know our new customers. Today it is clear that the Mess10 model is already a Bagunza classic and a bestseller. There are tourists who leave Essays Airport just to come to us at 3500 Garai Avenue in Baeda, just because they want to buy their idol’s flip flops,” adds Luciano, who still can’t believe what he’s going through. he and his family.

A little over two months ago, they opened a corner in Abasto Shopping, the first of many they have in mind. Thus, in record time,

Bagunza has evolved from a family business into an export and It does not stop growing. They are currently the official supplier of the AFA and most of the major clubs in Argentina. Your next goal? Brazilian market.

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