MILAN — Global markets may be gyrating, but Italian fashion firms continue to see an initial public offering in their future.
Moncler, which shelved an IPO last year; Pianoforte Holding, which comprises accessories brand Carpisa, innerwear and beachwear brand Yamamay, and swimwear brand Jaked, and men’s wear group Stefano Ricci all confirmed they continue to eye a stock-market flotation down the road. Executives from those firms were among the speakers at the Pambianco Conference Tuesday at the Milan Stock Exchange, who also included François-Henri Pinault, chairman and chief executive officer of PPR.
Remo Ruffini, chairman and ceo of Moncler, said the “Bourse has a great value,” in terms of visibility of the brand and recruitment of human resources, for example. “A listing remains our goal,” he said.
Asked on the sidelines of the conference about the future of the group’s other brands, which include Marina Yachting, Henry Cotton’s and Cerruti 1881, Ruffini said they are also “performing well,” and different options are under study to “create value, perhaps two companies or one within the other.”
Francesco Pinto, ceo of Pianoforte Holding, said the stock exchange has been a goal for the group for a long time. “First we had to be strong at home to be credible outside,” said Pinto. Italy currently accounts for 85 percent of sales, which are expected to reach 291 million euros, or $372.6 million at current exchange, in 2012. For this reason, the next step is to build an international market and Pinto forecast an IPO between 2014 and 2015. Intesa Sanpaolo has a 10 percent stake in the group, which counts a total of 1,201 stores, of which 1,056 are franchised.
Exports account for 92 percent of Stefano Ricci’s sales, which last year totaled 57 million euros, or $79.2 million at average exchange. China accounts for 27 percent of sales. The company has been investing in retailing and plans to have 29 stores by the end of the year and 41 units in 2013. Ceo Niccolò Ricci estimated the company could list on the stock exchange in two years.
Conversely, Pier Luigi Loro Piana, ceo of textile and apparel group Loro Piana, conceded the company had thought about the Bourse 13 years ago when it wanted to diversify in retail. “We found too many differences between finance and industry, and the project fell through. We are not thinking of going public now and we are not looking at opening up to outside investors,” he said.
Stefano Sassi, ceo of Valentino, said the official closing of the sale of the label to Mayhoola for Investments, an investment vehicle backed by a private investor group from Qatar, took place earlier in the day. He said the company expects to close 2012 with a 25 percent increase in revenues, reaching between 370 million and 380 million euros, or $473.8 million and $486.6 million.
“Made in Italy has nothing to do with nostalgia,” said Pinault, adding it is not about “astute marketing,” but is, on the contrary, “part of a strategic orientation, it’s about modernity and innovation. It is essential for quality to preserve artisanal tradition.”
Pinault said four brands under the PPR umbrella — Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Brioni and Sergio Rossi — account for 80 percent of the group’s sales and 90 percent of recurring operating income. His speech came a day after PPR split with the designer of one of its other brands — Nicolas Ghesquière at Balenciaga. Pinault declined to answer questions about the move, rushing out the door the moment his speech was over to catch a plane back to Paris.
In his speech, Pinault pointed to the challenges connected to the fact that Italy’s economy relies on a web of small and medium-size, often family-owned, companies. “If these small businesses are weakened, if the new generation of apprentices is missing, the whole edifice will be weakened,” he said.
Earlier in the morning, Gaetano Miccichè, general director of Intesa Sanpaolo bank, said “the dimension” of Italy’s companies is the “main problem,” which does not allow them to invest heavily in logistics, ads and organization, for example.
Pinault said he believes the development of Chinese, Indian or Brazilian luxury brands “is inevitable” and has “already started.” Not in all categories and at the same speed, but he views the craft of porcelain or jewelry making, and working silk as leading to the birth of luxury brands in China, for example.
“We have no reason to worry about this change. The luxury market has very promising prospects ahead of it, provided that all Made in Italy brands stick to what makes them unique,” said Pinault.
Asked about potential acquisitions, he said he was not after acquisitions per se. “There must be a vision, each brand has a precise role, and our brands never overlap, each is different,” said Pinault.
He confirmed that PPR “has the ambition, not the goal” to double sales of the group in 2020 to 24 billion euros, or $30.7 billion at current exchange. “We will analyze market by market, category by category, and the acquisitions are more possible in the sportswear sector rather than in luxury, where the companies already part of the group could register a growth between 20 and 30 percent,” said the executive.
Mario Boselli, head of the Italian Chamber of Fashion, praised Pinault’s support of Italian production and remarked on how Italian companies are focused on selling outside the country. “It’s a necessity to run towards foreign markets, in proportion to the serious internal crisis,” he said.
Assouline is paying homage to the late Azzedine Alaïa with a reprint of "Alaïa Livre de Collection.” The book is comprised of photographs of the designer's summer 1992 runway show with models Christy Turlington Burns, Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks, pictured here at right. #wwdfashion #alaia #tyrabanks
Fall 2018 accessories take on a painterly hue, with Nebulas Blue among Pantone’s top 10 colors of the season. (📸: @jonghyupstudio ; editor: @twallz21 ; stylist and set designer: @haideefindlaylevin ) #wwdaccessories
@americanapparelusa is relaunching the brand outside of the U.S. today, opening its online store to more than 200 countries. The company is also contemplating a return to brick-and-mortar, though details have not been confirmed. In tandem with the expanded distribution is a recasting of a social media ad campagn, called “Back to Basics,” pictured here, with a focus on diversity and a cast of models above the age of 21. Read more on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Exclusive: @britneyspears is continuing to expand her brand. The pop icon, who appears in @kenzo ’s latest campaign, is partnering with Epic Rights to launch a line of branded merchandise. Read @hernameislex ‘s story, link in bio. #wwdnews #britneyspears
The Duchess of Cambridge channeled Princess Diana’s look upon giving birth to Prince Harry, when she and the Duke of Cambridge departed the hospital with the new baby Prince this afternoon in London. #wwdeye #princeofcambridge
The new Prince of Cambridge has arrived! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge posed with the 8-pound newborn. She wore a look from one of her go-to designers, @jennypackham. Tap link in bio for more. #wwdeye #princeofcambridge
Jewelry label @alisonlou has made a name for itself with fine jewelry that speaks to the Millennial market. Now @twallz21 reports that the label is bringing those playful ideas to a new affordable line of lucite hoops with the launch of Loucite by Alison Lou. Here’s a look from the line modeled by @emrata. #wwdaccessories
@sarahjessicaparker and @gilt are teaming up on a bridal ready-to-wear line. Tomorrow, Parker will launch SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Bridal — and as part of the launch, Gilt will offer 15 exclusive styles from the SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker footwear collection that were designed to complement the new line. Made out of 10 styles, the line is designed for a variety of occasions, from bridal showers to receptions. Get more details on WWD.com #wwdfashion