MILAN — Ballantyne is refreshing the image of the brand by raising its creative content and artisanal approach.For fall 2018, the luxury knitwear company has introduced Ballantyne Lab, a new limited-edition line of men’s and women’s cashmere pieces, which are produced in an atelier installed inside the brand’s factory in Treviso, Italy.“This collection, which represents our haute couture, will be sold to a limited number of retailers — about 15 in Italy and an additional 10 in the world,” said Fabio Gatto, who acquired Ballantyne from the Charme Investments SCA fund in 2015 for six million euros. “We are selecting specific stores, which have an online presence and qualified staff able to explain the products to final customers.”The collection features prices which are 30 percent higher than the regular range.The company is relaunching the label’s iconic Diamond Bag — favored by Queen Elizabeth II — that is available in 18 solid colors and 12 special variations, spanning from velvet to quilted leather and shearling. Gatto said he also plans to implement the brand’s knitwear production in Scotland. In the past, Ballantyne used to create the majority of its products in its Scottish factory located in Innerleithen.“Currently we manufacture only 10 percent of the collection there, but we aim to find a local partner to increase our production in Scotland,” said Gatto, who revealed that the company’s goal is to reach a turnover of 13 million euros in 2021, when Ballantyne will celebrate its 100th anniversary. The company generates revenues of about seven million euros.Ballantyne collections are available at 700 multibrand stores in the world. The firm operates boutiques in Milan and Osaka and plans, within a couple of years, to open between five and six banners in Japan. After Italy, this region is the second biggest market for the label.
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