The Italian watch and jewelry brand opened its first freestanding store in the U.S. on Saturday, in New York’s landmark French Building at 551 Fifth Avenue. Designed by Milan-based SGS Architects, the 1,600-square-foot boutique houses Morellato’s jewelry, watch, writing instrument and leather goods collections.
Morellato & Sector Group, which operates the Morellato and Sector divisions, as well as multiple watch and jewelry licenses, is a major player throughout Italy, with sales of $368 million. The Morellato brand encompasses 42 percent of the country’s fashion jewelry market share, according to the company.
In the last year, it opened several boutiques throughout the world — in Shanghai; Panama; Cancún, Mexico; London, and Berlin — bringing the total freestanding store count to 57 worldwide. Marco Frison, chief executive officer of the firm’s U.S. subsidiary, Morellato & Sector USA, expects that, in the next three years, 40 percent of the company’s business outside Europe will take place in the U.S. He anticipates the new store will exceed $1 million in sales after its first year.
“Morellato wants to do things in the U.S. in the right way,” Frison said. “The distribution we have in Europe and the structure is something we cannot replicate exactly in the U.S., so we’re studying the right way to enter and the right moment to enter. This is a tough moment for the economy in general, but the Morellato concept is so strong in perceived value. We’re offering prices that are unbeatable, which puts us into a special positioning. We want to let our customers have a luxury experience and an emotional experience.”
All Morellato products range in price from $35 to $300. The new store will offer the firm’s accessibly priced jewelry and watches from its own labels — Morellato, Sector and Philip Watches — as well as from its licensed brands, which include Roberto Cavalli Timewear, Just Cavalli Time, Just Cavalli Jewels, Miss Sixty watches, Miss Sixty jewelry, Pirelli watches and John Galliano watches, launching next year. The company’s licensed products retail at higher prices, with Pirelli watches capping off the assortment at $14,750.
As to whether the firm is planning a larger-scale U.S. rollout, Frison said Morellato would prefer to remain a niche brand.
“We need to let Morellato enter slowly into the U.S. market,” he said. “Our strategy is not to open a lot of flagship stores. Our target mission is to let American people know more by having a few important locations. We are, however, considering an aggressive marketing campaign and examining our wholesale capabilities.”
Morellato is in talks to expand distribution into department and specialty stores. The firm’s Just Cavalli collection can be found throughout Nordstrom and Macy’s East.
Morellato dates back to 1930, when Giulio Morellato opened a watch repair shop in Bologna, Italy, before going on to specialize in leather watchbands. When he died in 1965, his closest colleague, Silvano Carraro, took over the firm. In the years following, a string of major investments were made in the company as it took on a leading role in European watchband marketing and licensing.
In 1990, Carraro turned over leadership of the company to his sons, Massiwmo and Marco, who are seeking to elevate the brand into a global player.
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion