MILAN — While developing its portfolio of labels, Ittierre SpA continues to build its retail business, with the unveiling in last quarter of a major flagship in Milan that will sell several of the brands the company produces.
The flagship, conceived along the lines of a department store, will be called IT Gallery and be located near Milan’s golden shopping triangle area of Via Montenapoleone. Goods from Albisetti SpA, owned by Antonio Bianchi, who took control of Ittierre last year, will also be on sale.
Ittierre also plans to launch an online site that will mirror the concept.
The clothing manufacturer produces and distributes under license collections such as Costume National, Karl Lagerfeld Paris, Pierre Balmain, Galliano, C’N’C, Aquascutum and Tommy Hilfiger’s runway lines. Albisetti produces and distributes innerwear, beachwear and accessories collections for brands including Chloé, Just Cavalli and Vivienne Westwood, among others.
“This is a way to open a new path on the market that can also be easily renewed,” said Alessandro Locatelli, general director of Ittierre. “It’s important to tell a story.”
Locatelli said the company “has the potential to grow with more licenses,” and a new agreement is expected to be inked in the fall.
The executive described the relationship with Dior, which controls the John Galliano brand, as “excellent,” adding that Ittierre “will most likely expand the collaboration,” with the company. It is understood that, over time, Ittierre may also extend the partnership to the signature John Galliano license.
Ittierre is currently looking at a space to open a second Galliano boutique in Hong Kong, scheduled to be unveiled by the end of the year.
Conversely, sources in Milan say the license for Ermanno Scervino’s Ermanno line will not continue, but Locatelli did not confirm. “We are talking to verify opportunities on how and if to pursue this license,” said Locatelli.
The company is also looking at the now-bankrupt assets of Mariella Burani Fashion Group, which will be auctioned in August.
Locatelli described the situation with Aquascutum as “improved since a year ago,” now that Hong Kong-based YGM Trading purchased the U.K. arm of Aquascutum, and owns 100 percent of the brand. “The group is restructuring itself for the future, but the brand is intact,” he said.
Ittierre is looking at expanding all its brands in Asia, where it will introduce Fiorucci with the spring 2013 collection. “There already is a very strong brand awareness there, which is a positive for new markets,” he said.
There are plans to open four more stores in China for Costume National by the first quarter of 2013.
In 2011, Ittierre consolidated sales totaled 190 million euros, or $264.1 million at average exchange.
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