MILAN — Mauro Grifoni is looking to follow the opening of its latest boutique here with continued expansion of its retail network in Europe and a push in the American market.
The Caldogno, Italy-based brand’s first boutique here is located in a 19th-century four-story palazzo in the city’s coveted Via Santo Spirito shopping area. The store opened at the end of February during Milan Fashion Week.
Mauro Grifoni, owned by the namesake designer and his partners, Ilaria Sesso and Andrea Breda, comprises women’s and men’s collections, women’s eveningwear, children’s wear and a denim and sportswear division that accounts for 40 percent of sales. In 2008, the company registered sales of 47 million euros, or $69 million at average exchange rates, up 8 percent compared to the previous year, with 5 million euros, or $7.3 million, derived from its own stores. Grifoni expects revenues in 2009 to grow 10 percent.
The Milan store is the brand’s sixth in Italy, and Grifoni said he expected sales of 2 million euros, or $2.5 million, in the first year. Locations in London and Paris are being scouted for stores in the near future, but Grifoni said details have yet to be finalized. The brand is also available at 500 points of sale around the world, including Isetan and Barneys Japan, as well as Barneys New York, Louis Boston and Traffic in Los Angeles.
Sesso said the company is planning a more aggressive push in the U.S. with the summer 2010 collection.
“We are taking the general economic crisis into account, but we’re seeing positive results and even growing our advertising expense to reach 1 million euros [$1.2 million],” said Sesso. “Our customers perceive our collections as timeless pieces that will last.”
Grifoni views directly owned retail as the best way to present consumers with a full picture of the label’s offerings.
“Retail is very important to us. It’s our way to communicate, given the range of our merchandise,” said Grifoni, who started the company in 1992 as a handmade shirtmaker.
The women’s line was launched in 1997 and is designed by Sesso, who said she draws from men’s wear, employing men’s fabrics and cuffs for shirts, for example. That said, there are plenty of delicately flower-patterned coats and pleated miniskirts. As for denim, the women’s best-selling model is the low-waist, body-hugging Kiss, while for men it’s the straight-leg Gorky design.
Sesso said the Milan store was designed to take advantage of existing details to give it a “home feeling.” It blends coffered ceilings painted white, and recovered stuccoed walls with modern touches such as black smoky glass.
The store is also filled with vintage, shabby-chic details like recycled pallets coated in resin, old metal file cabinets that are used as displays and old boxes from haberdashers’ shops that have been turned into shelves. The top floor has been designed to serve as an office, showroom and special events space.
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“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