MILAN — Italian luxury clothing company Brioni is looking for a partner.
The firm is putting a 20 to 25 percent stake up for sale and has tapped BNP Paribas as its adviser, said Antonella De Simone, Brioni’s co-chief executive officer. “This is a family company. We need to think about the future and ways to develop the brand,” she said.
The controlling shareholders of Brioni are the descendants of the company’s founders: Nazareno Fonticoli, the master tailor, and Gaetano Savini, the original fashion coordinator. De Simone is a granddaughter of Fonticoli and also oversees marketing and communications. Andrea Perrone, the grandson of Savini, took over the reins of the family run group at the end of 2006 and is co-chief executive, in charge of business strategies. A third co-chief executive is Antonio Bianchini.
“These complicated family relationships could be a deterrent for an investor that is only offered a minority stake,” said an industry source.
On the other hand, the company’s production facilities, based in Penne, in Italy’s central Abruzzo region, are a lure for potential bidders. Also, under Perrone’s management, Brioni, known for its tailored, handmade suits, has been attracting a new, more casual customer with more sportswear pieces. At the same time, Perrone has been expanding Brioni in Asia and emerging markets.
After recent store openings in New Delhi; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Baku, Azerbaijan; Cannes, France; Almaty, Kazakhstan; Beijing; Macao, China; and Jakarta, Indonesia, which have raised the number of boutiques around the world to 58, the company plans to open a third boutique in Dubai by yearend. Stores in Zagabria; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Istanbul and Beirut, Lebanon, are planned for the first half of 2009 and in Lugano, Switzerland, and St. Petersburg, Russia, in fall 2009. That said, Perrone keeps an eye on developed markets, too, and is looking at opportunities in New York and Houston and has secured a space in Atlanta.
Umberto Angeloni, who married Gabriella De Simone, Antonella’s sister, became ceo of Brioni in 1990 and spearheaded the company’s expansion, turning it into a luxury lifestyle brand. In disaccord over growth strategies, the Brioni heirs bought out Angeloni and his wife at the end of 2006.
Men’s wear accounts for 90 percent of sales, while the women’s business has been bumpy. After a brief stint with current Salvatore Ferragamo designer Cristina Ortiz as its women’s creative director two years ago, which received lukewarm reviews, women’s is now designed by an in-house team.
The company reported a 26.1 percent spike in operating profits in 2007, following a wave of retail expansion. Earnings before interest and taxes reached 31.4 million euros, or $48.62 million at average exchange, while sales gained 7.1 percent to 206.5 million euros, or $319.74 million.
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)