MILAN — Damiani is intent on building its watch division as the brand celebrates its 85th anniversary.
Although Damiani first dabbled in watches more than a decade ago, it is now pressing on the accelerator by increasing its offerings, primarily designed for a female clientele. The new designs, which run from basic to bling, will be available starting in the fall of 2010. Prices are still being set.
“We’re building a real and proper watch division because we have to treat the project like a new line and be fully dedicated,” said Guido Damiani, chairman and chief executive officer.
The company has appointed Vito La Monica, a manager from Bulgari Time SA, as marketing director for its namesake timepieces. He will be based in Lugano, Switzerland, where Damiani has a branch office.
The acquisition in 2006 of the Rocca 1794 retail chain, which counts 20 high-end jewelry and watch stores in Italy, will boost Damiani’s retail profile. Damiani’s 50 flagships and some 450 select multibrand units also will carry the timepieces.
The firm also has reedited its iconic Gomitolo ring collection, known for pavé-set pieces crafted to resemble the winding of a ball of wool. The 12 anniversary rings were inspired by the colors of famous Italian art cities such as Venice, Verona, Pisa, Portofino, Rome and Naples. Each style is only available in a limited number of 85 pieces.
Besides white and colored diamonds, the rings made with rose, yellow and white gold are encrusted with a rainbow of stones including sapphires, amethysts, rhodolites, citrines, topazes and tourmalines.
Damiani’s growth has been just as colorful. The company, established by Enrico Damiani in 1924 and a favorite among wealthy families for one-of-a-kind pieces, is today listed on the Milan Bourse, has five wide-reaching brands — Damiani, Bliss, Salvini, Alfieri & St. John and Calderoni 1840 — and controls 80 stores.
Consolidated annual sales for the period ending March 31 totaled 149.8 million euros, or $212.7 million, a 9.5 percent decrease from last year’s 165.6 million euros, or $235.1 million. Damiani posted a net loss of 4.7 million euros, or $6.7 million, compared with last year’s profit of 7.6 million euros, or $10.8 million.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization dropped 94.7 percent to 1.1 million euros, or $1.6 million, down from last year’s 20.7 million euros, or $29.3 million.
All figures have been converted at average exchange rates for the period to which they refer. Adding to its Jil Sander and Martin Margiela jewelry licenses, Damiani further tightened its designer ties with a recent licensing agreement to produce and distribute Ferré jewelry. The pieces will be unveiled during Ferré’s spring show in September.
Fashion houses are knocking at the door, but Damiani said that doesn’t mean “we will open to everyone, though we’d like to increase our designer relationships in the near future.”
Damiani’s fully integrated production system, creative know-how and retail network make it an appealing partner for fashion firms.
“Unlike 20 years ago when we were in contact with Nicola Trussardi and Gianni Versace to do jewelry, the market is now ripe for designer jewelry as long as it fully reflects the house’s aesthetic,” Damiani said.
“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
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye