MILAN — Benetton Group is setting in motion its three-year program to restructure its operations and grow its business and is expected to let go of about 130 employees, according to a market source.
As first reported in December, the group plans to further grow its United Colors of Benetton and Sisley brands and to divest its other labels, including Jean’s West, Killer Loop, Anthology of Cottons and Playlife, by the end of the year. As per this strategy, all stores managed directly by the group that operate under the Playlife retail brand, where such labels are currently primarily distributed, and their related business and support structure will close.
“Our group has the potential to be a leader in the markets in which it operates. We own one of the most significant brands in the history of global fashion, United Colors of Benetton, which is also one of the most renowned and respected brands in all key markets for apparel,” said chief executive officer Biagio Chiarolanza. “This is why the three-year program that this management team is implementing above all involves the continuous improvement of our entire retail network, as well as other initiatives aimed at strengthening our business by focusing on where we see the most potential for growth.”
Benetton is streamlining its structure to become more competitive and improve its profitability, with plans to exit about 60 countries that are no longer deemed strategic.
In November, Alessandro Benetton, chairman of the family-owned group, decided to create and differentiate three new areas at the company — managing brands, manufacturing and real estate. At the end of the process, all three entities will be directly controlled by Edizione Srl, the holding company of the Benetton family.
The company will increasingly differentiate the United Colors of Benetton and Sisley brands and their operations, and concentrate its investments in directly owned flagship and key stores. It plans to roll out a franchising program for key stores managed by third parties and radically improve its retail network, in particular with new formats for the United Colors of Benetton and Sisley units now nearing their launch. The group will also further develop its accessories and additional licences, following the fragrance revealed last year with the Puig Group.
“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