MILAN — A financial crisis is looming over Ittierre SpA once again.
According to multiple sources, employees at the headquarters of the manufacturing company in Pettoranello, near Isernia, Italy, received their last paychecks at the end of July and several suppliers have not been paid for months.
As reported, in September owner Antonio Bianchi spoke of cutting the group’s workforce and said that he was seeking a financial partner. The future of the company hinges on finding a partner since Ittierre has asked the Court of Isernia to prepare a plan for the repayment of creditors to avoid bankruptcy. “Bianchi has two months to present an industrial plan to the court, otherwise the risk is it may even go bankrupt again,” said a source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The source said there are “solid entrepreneurs that are interested in buying Ittierre.” Bianchi took control of the firm in 2011, after almost two years of government-backed bankruptcy protection that cleared the company of all of its debt.
Bianchi could not be reached for comment.
According to the papers presented to the court and obtained by WWD, the company is weighed down by a total debt of 88.7 million euros, or $120.6 million at current exchange. The debt is made up of 6 million euros, or $8.2 million, owed to employees; 50 million euros, or $68 million, owed to suppliers and licensors, and 32.7 million euros, or $44.5 million, owed to the banks.
According to the papers, Ittierre attributed the lack of growth in 2012 and contracted sales in the first half of 2013 to the “very grave national and international economic crisis that hit, more than others, the fashion industry.” It also said it hoped the new licenses “would have brought better results.” For these reasons, the fall/winter 2013 collections were “produced only in a minimum part and are likely to largely not be produced,” which will affect second-half figures.
In addition, market sources say the Guardia di Finanza, Italy’s tax police, is investigating Ittierre for allegedly selling counterfeit products or goods that were sold without authorization or were remaining inventory.
Sources also say that Bianchi asked the Molise region, where the company is based, for funds, but did not receive them, a fact which impeded further expansion.
One source speculated that the 10,800-square-foot IT’S 30 Manzoni department store, in the frescoed 18th century Palazzo Gallarati Scotti on Milan’s Via Manzoni, inaugurated at the end of last year, is set to shut down. The unit carries ready-to-wear and accessories from the brands produced by Ittierre. The unit also sells innerwear and beachwear for labels including Chloé, Just Cavalli and Vivienne Westwood that are licensed to Albisetti SpA, also owned by Bianchi.
A meeting between Bianchi and Italy’s minister of development is expected to take place on Oct. 10.
Ittierre has been engaged in reviewing its portfolio of licenses and streamlining its structure.
After two seasons, the Karl Lagerfeld Paris license was mutually terminated last month before its five-year expiration date. The C’N’C Costume National license has also not been renewed, following the termination of the Costume National license.
Ittierre has been growing its portfolio of brands with new licenses, including Aquascutum, Tommy Hilfiger Collection and Jean Paul Gaultier’s men’s collection and the designer’s new streetwear line for men and women, Gaultier 2, in addition to Pierre Balmain, Guy Laroche and Galliano.
Bianchi said he was working on renewing the GFF Ferré license. Ittierre also has a production agreement with Thierry Mugler.
Sources say Ittierre did not make the investments required to build the new licenses. It is understood companies that have licenses with Ittierre are scrambling to develop contingency plans.
Another meeting between Bianchi and Italy’s minister of development was held in September. At the time, Bianchi said: “We inherited 700 workers from the previous owner [Tonino Perna], but we cannot have more than 300 employees, in proportion to our revenues, which last year totaled 130 million euros [$171.3 million].”
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye