MILAN — Safeguarding the Richard Ginori brand, further raising its luxury content and improving the company’s manufacturing capabilities, as well as building an exclusive tableware collection for Gucci, were among the top priorities expressed by Gucci chairman and chief executive officer Patrizio di Marco on Tuesday.
Ginori was founded in 1735 and specializes in handcrafted and decorated porcelain tableware. Gucci, which is the only company that has offered to help preserve the brand, has offered 13 million euros, or $17 million at current exchange, and pledged to keep 230 employees out of a total of 308. The closing is scheduled on May 22.
“This is a very important operation for our Made in Italy, and I’m proud as an Italian that it has happened at this specific moment,” said di Marco. The executive said the deal is in line with Gucci’s other projects in the area, supporting small and medium-size companies and helping them gain access to credit, for example. Ginori is based in Tuscany’s Sesto Fiorentino, not far from Gucci’s own headquarters, and di Marco said that the plan is to maintain it there and improve the plant’s technology.
“Richard Ginori is a symbol of Made in Italy. It is a giant damaged by a chain of wrong choices and strategies, and a well of expertise that needs to be saved,” said di Marco. “Imagine that, at the end of the Twenties, Giò Ponti was its artistic director.”
After an initial restructuring phase, which will allow the company to regain its financial stability, the goal is to develop the company in order to restore its international profile.
Gucci is still taking stock of assets and declined to provide details of the investment needed, but di Marco said the priority is to improve efficiency of the main Sesto Fiorentino facility and update its industrial systems and equipment in order to make it fully operational.
While di Marco stressed that the Richard Ginori label will continue to be pivotal, the two Florentine brands will work together on a Gucci-branded art de la table line, drawing from the artistic and archival legacies of both companies.
“It was already in our plans to gradually enter tableware, which is not an easy market, it’s a competitive arena, but it’s also wide and offers opportunities around the world,” he said. “Richard Ginori has been called the Ferrari of ceramics, and we know that stores carrying the brand have been raided [for product] ever since the news of the bankruptcy.”
Asked about Richard Ginori’s existing licenses, including one for Missoni Home, di Marco said, “We shall see. There is nothing discreditable in licenses, but it is fundamental for the company and the brand to return to what they were, and then we can see if we can extend this expertise to other brands.”
Asked about the potential acquisition of other brands, di Marco defined this as “an important transaction. We have our hands full.”
A ceramics museum is part of the Richard Ginori assets and di Marco said Gucci will aim at preserving it. “We have some experience now with our own museum in Florence,” he said proudly. Gucci collaborated with Richard Ginori in the late Seventies, and a number of the pieces they created together at the time are on display at Gucci’s museum in Florence.
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion
“I’m Russian and I love to use all these little tricks that I got from my grandma or my mom. We didn’t have a lot of money for creams or anything like that so we would use a garden as a beauty treatment regime. We’d put cucumber in the fridge and do a cucumber mask,” says model @irinashayk on one of her beauty hacks. WWD asked celebs what their go-to self-care rituals are. See what Naomie Harris, Freida Pinto and more said on WWD.com. #wwdeye #wwdbeauty (📷: @zefashioninsider)
Exclusive: @viktorandrolf are teaming up with @Zalando on a collection made from leftover clothing. The lineup, which lands at the retailer February 1, includes 17 pieces adorned with sliced up and repurposed overstock from the retailer’s private label collection. Pictured here is a look from the collection –– see more on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #wwdnews
@duewestnyc is the newest bar joining the collection of intimate neighborhood-focused spaces in the West Village. The cocktail menu, which includes bitters and syrups made in-house, offers a “Build Your Own Old-Fashioned” – like the one pictured here – where guests can choose from a list of spirits and unexpected sugars and bitters. #wwdeye
Spotted at last night’s National Board of Review gala in NYC: Angelina Jolie. Jolie – along with Meryl Streep, @lupitanyongo and more – continued the all-black dress code from Sunday’s Golden Globes. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)