The Italian luxury women’s cashmere firm, which in 2013 saw revenues rise 15 percent to more than 60 million euros, or about $81 million, compared with the previous year, is developing a strategic business plan for the North American market. This will include the creation of a branch in the U.S. and the opening of a flagship in New York.
“It’s been a long time since we first entered the American market, but in the last two years we included the U.S. in our business plan to make it more and more important for the company,” said Mario Filippi Coccetta, president and chief executive officer of Fabiana Filippi, which is headquartered in Italy’s Umbria region. “We are actually reaching great results — in two years, we doubled our revenues in the U.S., and we are aware that this not the arrival point because the market offers a huge potential for the growth of the brand.”
Currently, Fabiana Filippi, which generates 8 percent of its total business in the U.S., sells its collections in about 60 high-end, multibrand stores across the country, as well as at Nordstrom.
“We think that we will shortly also enter a couple of additional department stores and in the midterm we will kick off a retail development plan opening boutiques and shops-in-shop,” said Filippi Coccetta. He explained that, even if the company successfully operates in the American market from Italy, the performance in the U.S. is such that it deserves its own American branch.
To increase the visibility of the brand in the market, Filippi Coccetta revealed that the fashion firm plans to open a flagship in New York within two years. “New York is included in the list of those strategic locations, such as London, Paris and Saint-Tropez, which can allow a brand to be global,” he said.
Currently, Fabiana Filippi, which generates 73 percent of its revenues outside Italy, counts 10 flagships in Europe and one in Russia, along with 20 shops-in-shop in various European and former Soviet Union countries, as well as in South Korea and Japan.
Talking about brand expansion, Filippi Coccetta said that China, Brazil, Argentina and Vietnam are now among the most appealing markets for the fashion firm, which “already has a balanced presence in all the different international markets.”
On the product side, Filippi Coccetta noted that the U.S. is welcoming the brand’s total-look offering, “also because our clients there have mostly embraced our brand philosophy. I think that American women are our ideal customers — they like to have pieces that they can wear from morning to dinner and, in addition, in the U.S. rigorous cashmere jackets and luxury sportswear, which are our signature products, are always among the stores’ bestsellers.”
The company is also expanding its accessories offering, which currently accounts for 7 percent of the label’s revenues. Cashmere pieces, including scarves, hats and gloves are the best-performing items, followed by shoes. “It’s more difficult with bags because customers are still looking for status symbols,” Filippi Coccetta said.
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