By  on November 29, 2007

MILAN — Moschino is repositioning its Moschino Jeans line with an eye toward moving beyond denim floors and into the contemporary selling space at department stores.

The campaign is getting under way with the renaming of the brand. Beginning with its winter 2008 precollection, the line will be distributed under the Love Moschino label.

"The previous name was no longer representative of the nature of the brand, which continues to have a denim component, but has recently grown into a more comprehensive fashion collection," said Massimo Braglia, chief executive officer of Sinv SpA, which controls 30 percent of Moschino.

The majority interest in the company is owned by Aeffe, the Italian clothing manufacturer that produces and distributes the Alberta Ferretti and Pollini lines.

The pre-fall collection was inspired by a wool jacquard jacket by designer Walter Albini that Rossella Jardini, Moschino's creative director, wore when she was in her late teens. Jardini said the collection has a Twenties feel, with a sporty touch, and features iconic Moschino elements such as trompe l'oeil embroideries, striped patterns and bright color palettes. Jardini has an affinity for denim and associates the fabric with a sense of freedom.

"A pair of jeans, a white shirt and a blue sweater — this is what I wear when I don't have to dress up," she said.

Moschino Jeans launched in 1987 and is distributed in 93 countries and more than 1,000 points of sale. Braglia said he wants to maintain those numbers as the brand makes its push into the contemporary arena.

"We may close a certain number of accounts but also open up to new ones," he said.

Braglia said he hoped the new name will help position the line in U.S. department stores.

"We should be placed with contemporary brands rather than on the denim floor," he said.

The opening of dedicated stores is also in the pipeline, together with investments in communication and special events to promote the brand. A "Republic of Moschino" passport to communicate the creation of the label has been sent to retailers, and Braglia said the response to the change has been favorable."The name is fresh, ironic and fun," he said. "It evokes positive values, it's easy to remember and international, and is strongly connected to Franco Moschino, but, graphically, the logo is not too sweet."

Braglia declined to give revenue estimates for Love Moschino, but sources said the line accounts for more than one-third of Sinv revenues. The company, which produces 3.5 million pieces a year and has an activewear branch, reported sales of 164 million euros in 2006, or $205 million at average exchange, up 44.5 percent from 2005. Braglia said he expects "double-digit growth" in 2007. The women's division accounted for 60 percent of Moschino Jeans.

Under new ceo Thierry Andretta, Moschino over the past year expanded its accessories business, launched a fragrance, signed an eyewear license with Allison and a watch and jewelry license with Binda for its Cheap & Chic collection and invested in retailing around the world. A hotel in Milan is also in the works.

"The updating of the logo is part of the development plan regarding the Moschino world at a time of great visibility and growth on the international market," Massimo Ferretti, chairman of Aeffe, said in a statement.

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