MILAN — Brioni plans to terminate its women’s line and its contract with designer Alessandro Dell’Acqua, according to sources.
The sources contended the decision is part of the ongoing talks between PPR and Brioni about the French luxury house acquiring the Italian brand. Brioni and PPR declined to comment Monday.
An industry source said Monday that Brioni’s manufacturing plant in Congiunti, Italy, which was exclusively dedicated to the production of the brand’s women’s collections, will be shut down in September. Some of the 110 workers will be incorporated in Brioni’s factory based in Italy’s central town of Penne, but the women’s line will be discontinued and the contract with Dell’Acqua will not be renewed. The designer was on vacation and not reachable at press time. This would be an abrupt change of strategy for Brioni, which tapped Dell’Acqua as creative director of the women’s line in May 2010 to raise the division’s profile. A source said the company gave carte blanche to the designer, who “selected only the most precious fabrics and materials” in his effort to relaunch the line. “The clothes were made with wonderful fabrics, but at a very high price,” noted the source.
Dell’Acqua’s show for Brioni is scheduled for Sept. 25 at 11:30 a.m. during Milan Fashion Week, but sources wonder if it will actually take place.
“This was supposed to be a long-term investment for Brioni, and Dell’Acqua was in talks to extend his yearly contract with a three-year agreement that would have given Brioni exclusivity over the designer,” said one industry source. “The collection was selling very well, and Brioni was planning to open a number of women’s stores, so I can only assume the entrance of a new shareholder was instrumental in determining this new course.”
PPR may have no need for another women’s line, while it might be vying for market shares in the men’s arena, just as LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton has big plans to revamp its Berluti line, said the source.
“PPR may only want to focus on men’s,” said another source. “It already has so many women’s lines.”
In addition to Gucci, PPR’s Luxury Division also includes the Bottega Veneta and Yves Saint Laurent businesses. Brioni could appeal to PPR because of its know-how in tailored men’s wear, exclusive positioning and international visibility.
Brioni initiated a search for an investor three years ago. PPR first emerged as a possible investor in Brioni in 2009, after the Italian company tapped BNP Paribas in November 2008 to help sell a 20 to 25 percent stake. Later that year, Brioni said it was no longer seeking an investor. Now the need for an injection of cash is a priority for Brioni, which is weighed down by debt of almost 100 million euros, or $144 million at current exchange, according to sources. Part of Brioni’s debt stems from the company’s buyout in 2006 of former chief executive officer Umberto Angeloni for an estimated 80 million euros, or $104.8 million at average exchange rates for that year. In his 16 years at the company, Angeloni was instrumental in building Brioni into a luxury lifestyle brand.
The executive is now chief executive officer and majority shareholder of luxury Italian tailoring brand Caruso.
Brioni is controlled by the descendants of the company’s founders — Nazareno Fonticoli, the master tailor, and Gaetano Savini, the original fashion coordinator — and celebrated its 65th anniversary last year. One source estimated the price tag for Brioni could range upward of 300 million euros, or $431.7 million at current exchange.
My character, Dinah Madani, is just the coolest, [most] badass woman imaginable," says @amberroserevah. The actress stars in @marvel's newest series on @netflix, @thepunisher. To prepare for her role, Revah sat down with Homeland agents to get a real sense of with Dinah's day-to-day life is really like. Read our full interview on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
A scene from the 91st annual @macys Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade, which boasts 50 million TV viewers and 3.5 million on-site spectators, is considered one of the largest and most watched parades in the world. (📷: Jason Szenes/EPA-REX)
The circus came to @bloomingdales 59th Street on Tuesday night and lit up Lexington Avenue with acrobatic dancers, death-defying knife throwing, sword swallowing and aerial acts with no net. The 45 minutes of theatrics built up to unveiling the holiday windows depicting @swarovski crystal-encrusted circus pieces and scenes from “The Greatest Showman” – songs from the soundtrack included. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Joshua Scott)
The psychedelic fashion that pervaded the ’60s is back with an exhibit at the @museumofcityny. “Mode New York: Fashion Takes a Trip” chronicles the changing styles from 1960 through 1973 and features designers such as @ysl, @oscardelarenta and more. The exhibition, which is on display through April 1, is organized into four periods: First Lady Fasion, Youthquake, New Bohemia and New Nonchalance. Pictured here is model Pat Bardonella during the Garvey Day Parade in 1968. (📷: @kwamebphoto) #wwdeye #wwdfashion
“People should be a lot more honest in expressing both the dark and light of themselves. We need to give each other the space to do that because it’s the only way we can grow and evolve,” says @noelwells of her new film “Mr. Roosevelt,” which is largely based on her own struggles. Unexpectedly leaving @nbcsnl in 2014 after just one season, Wells felt set back in her self-esteem and career trajectory. She quickly refocused her energy to more personal projects, which led to the completion of “Mr. Roosevelt.” Read the rest of WWD’s interview with the “Master of None” actress on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
@barbrastreisand is giving fans a chance to see her perform up close in a new concert series, which makes its debut on @Netflix today. From behind-the-scenes takes to her concert performance in Miami last December, the two-hour streaming special captures Streisand in her element. Pictured here is the singer/actress photographed for WWD in 1963. (📷: Palmieri Tony) #wwdeye #wwdarchive
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)