MILAN — Valextra SpA has a new partner that will help expand the brand and launch an initial public offering down the road. The Italian luxury accessories company said Friday that London-based investment firm NEO Capital has taken a stake in Valextra through a capital increase. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.
Former Bally chairman and chief executive officer Marco Franchini has been tapped as Valextra’s ceo. The sale and appointment confirm earlier WWD reports.
Chairman Emanuele Carminati Molina will continue in that role, and his nephew Marco Scarpella will remain a member of the board.
Touting Valextra’s “highest international recognition” as “the finest expression of Italian craftsmanship,” Carminati Molina said the company was “now ready for a new phase of growth, partnering with NEO and to become one of the leading players in the luxury leather industry, qualifying for a possible IPO in the future.”
An enthusiastic Franchini described Valextra as “a fantastic brand with a unique heritage.”
After seven years, Franchini left Bally in spring 2009 after orchestrating a major overhaul, tapping Brian Atwood as creative director and returning the company to the black.
Prior to Bally, he was Gucci’s general manager for Europe for eight years in the late Nineties. “For the last 20 years I have been working in the luxury arena, and I am honored to put forth my experience towards such a prestigious and luxurious brand,” said Franchini.
NEO Capital has investments in companies including Alain Mikli, Ladurée, Vuarnet, Obikà and Miller Harris.
Founding partner David Belhassen said the firm plans to “continue Valextra’s international development,” defining the brand as “sophisticated and refined,” leveraging on “heritage and a tradition of quality, luxury and innovation, which has been preserved through the years.”
The Italian company last year had revenues of 13.5 million euros, or $17.3 million at average exchange.
The label dates back to 1937, when Giovanni Fontana opened the first Valextra boutique in Milan’s Piazza San Babila.
Valextra has a flagship in Milan, opened in 2004 and housed in a stately five-story palazzo on Via Manzoni; six stores in Japan, and five in Korea. The brand is exclusively distributed by Barneys New York in the U.S., Le Bon Marché in Paris and Selfridges in London, in addition to 11 other retailers in Europe.
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