MILAN — Alberta Ferretti has been working on the American market and the Italian brand is seeing the first results of its new strategy. After a decadelong break, Barneys New York has snapped up the label again.
“We have completely reset the distribution of the Alberta Ferretti collections in the U.S., eliminating those stores that don’t meet our criteria, and opting for larger and more impactful presentations in key stores across the country,” said Michelle Stein, president of Aeffe USA. “We are concentrating the collections in only the finest major department stores and specialty stores and in addition to our longtime partner Saks Fifth Avenue, we will debut the collection at Barneys after a hiatus of over 10 years.
“Both stores will feature a selection of styles exclusive to their stores, and we are working on unique capsule offerings that will provide much-needed exclusive deliveries outside of the normal cadence of collection deliveries.”
For example, Barneys will carry the Mia Mule, launched in June, and the shoe collection exclusively in the U.S. The Mia Mule is inspired by an archival style from the Nineties, evolved in a flat version for fall 2016. Made in soft velvet in two colors, black and cognac, each piece is embellished with silk threads that create three-dimensional petals and foliage. The allover embroidery requires two days to be completed. Since its launch, the company has sold more than 10,000 pairs of Mia Mules.
Distribution of both ready-to-wear and footwear will continue in the top specialty stores across the country, such as Elyse Walker, Forty Five Ten, Just One Eye and Amarees, among others.
In particular, Stein said the “Rainbow Week” capsule unveiled in January during Ferretti’s pre-fall and Limited demi-couture show in Milan “has outperformed our expectations at Saks Fifth Avenue and was included in their weekly ‘Best Seller’ overview last week.”
The capsule of sweaters adorned by intarsia with the name of each day of the week and presented over shimmering lace column dresses has also garnered much attention on social media. Since its launch on Jan. 13, Ferretti has sold 7,000 pieces.
Asked what triggered Alberta Ferretti’s return to Barneys, Daniella Vitale, chief executive officer, said “there is such a void for evening and feminine pretty dresses. This is such a natural for Alberta and we felt the direction she is taking reflects a Barneys consumer.”
Vitale also emphasized the designer’s “ability to add youthful elements to her evening.” She also said Barneys “felt most strongly about cocktail, gowns and the spectacular novelty in the shoes.”
As reported, citing improved revenue on increased tourism sales in the last quarter of 2016, parent company Aeffe SpA said preliminary revenues last year inched up 4.7 percent at constant exchange to 280.7 million euros, or $298.7 million.