MILAN — Furla SpA ended 2013 with a 7 percent gain in sales compared with the previous year, but chief executive officer Eraldo Poletto said there are “still margins for improvement.”
The Bologna-based accessories firm has been raising the quality of its products, developing its footwear division and expanding its lifestyle content, said Poletto. “The year 2014 will be very important for Furla to be at the next level,” he said.
The company is expected to close 2013 with sales of 228 million euros, or $300.9 million at average exchange. At constant exchange, sales would have risen 14.5 percent. Over the past three years, the company has grown 45 percent.
Poletto said, “The main challenge is to grow, in order to reach a size that can compete with bigger players to secure top real estate locations,” for example. His goal is to bring Furla to sales of 500 million euros, or $680.7 million at current exchange. “It’s important to reach that size, it’s easier to grow once you get there,” said Poletto.
Over the past two years, the company has been investing in the renewal of its existing sales points and in new openings. In the 2012-13 period, Furla opened 167 units, with 97 in 2013 (51 new and 46 renovations) and 70 in 2012 (13 openings and 57 renovations). Furla has 344 monobrand stores, of which 164 are directly operated, which generate 59 percent of sales, and 180 franchises. There are also 1,100 points of sale carrying the brand.
Geographically, last year Italy accounted for 24 percent of sales, up 8 percent on 2012. The EMEA, or Europe, Middle East and Africa, region accounted for 30 percent of revenues and Japan for 23 percent. The APAC, or Asia Pacific, area represented 14 percent and the U.S., 9 percent.
In 2013, e-commerce grew 41 percent and the travel-retail channel was up 37 percent given the increased number of airport shops from 33 doors in 2010 to 175 today, in 44 different countries.
Poletto said the company has spun off its real estate properties belonging to the Furlanetto family, which owns Furla, streamlining the structure of the Bologna-based firm.
Speculation periodically arises over a possible initial public offering, but Poletto said that this is “a decision up to Furla’s shareholders. My job is for the company to eventually be ready.”
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast