MILAN — The economy isn’t bringing everything to a standstill.
Renato Preti, former chief executive officer of private equity fund Opera, founded together with Bulgari in 2000, is launching a design brand called Skitsch with a group of Italian entrepreneurs. “Some may question the timing, but there are many opportunities in this sector,” said Preti during a press conference at the Bulgari Hotel here Tuesday.
He said customers are looking for less ostentatious products, opting for feel-good pieces rather than flashy cars or jewels. “The demand for contemporary aesthetics is growing, the pleasure to surround oneself with contemporary objects strengthened by the crisis and there is only a limited offer,” said Preti.
Furniture, accessories such as candles, home fragrances and other objects for the home and office will be created by an initial group of 27 international designers, ranging from Maarten Baas to Xavier Lust, Marc Sadler to Joost van Bleiswijk, under the artistic supervision of Cristina Morozzi.
“Design objects are usually either too strange or too functional. We are looking for balance and a comprehensive offer,” said Preti, whose career includes stints at Opera-controlled home furnishings company B&B Italia and outdoor furniture firm Unopiù.
The company behind Skitsch is called Di Disegno SpA. With an investment of up to 12 million euros, or $15.5 million at current exchange, Skitsch expects sales of 5 million euros, or $6.4 million, in the first year, and revenues of 50 million, or $64.5 million, in five years.
Others involved in the project include Alberto Bombassei, vice president of Italy’s Industrialists Association, Confindustria, and president and ceo of Brembo SpA, a leading group in the production, design and marketing of brake systems. The company has also taken control of home furnishings brand Dovetusai, whose products will be part of Skitsch’s catalogue.
Skitsch will debut on April 21 during Milan’s international furniture and design exhibition, the Salone del Mobile, with the opening of its first store. The 6,480-square-foot flagship will boast 13 windows in the centrally located Via Monte di Pietà, 11, a few steps away from the Bulgari Hotel and Via Montenapoleone. The store, in wood, glass, concrete and brass, with touches of blue, was designed by Luca Bombassei, partner and founder of Blast Architects in Milan, Venice and Abu Dhabi.
The products will mostly be made in Italy, except for specific categories such as rugs from India, crystal from Bohemia, and porcelain from Poland. Distribution will include Skitsch’s own stores, catalogues and e-commerce. “In this industry, distribution is very fragmented, the experience of shopping is not fun or stimulating, often with delayed deliveries and little service,” said Preti.
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@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