MILAN — Pirelli PZero is mining its roots for a relaunch of the brand.
Founded in 2002 by Italy-based tire manufacturer Pirelli, the fashion label has started a repositioning that involves both the design and commercial sides of the company.
“We are working to quickly reinforce our internal organization to be able to control the entire production chain,” said chief executive officer Marco Giani, who joined the company in November. “To reach this goal, we are developing an in-house design team, along with other departments, such as product development, production and operations.”
On the fashion side, creative director Renato Montagner injected a new spin into the Pirelli PZero 2012-2013 collections, which drop their sporty connotations to focus more on urban and sophisticated looks.
“We are approaching technology in a more relaxed way, and from an emotional point of view,” Montagner said. “We aim to deliver pieces that are contemporary in use, but that are tied to traditional Italian elegance. We don’t want to do hyper-technical sportswear or futuristic ready-to-wear, but we want to reinterpret iconic pieces made to fit our everyday life.”
Designed to reach high quality standards and guarantee top performance, the Pirelli PZero winter collection, which is focused on outerwear, features references to a number of styles first offered in the Sixties by Pirelli Confezioni. Founded in 1960, the company’s former fashion branch used to produce trenches, coats and waterproof jackets.
Today’s lineup combines sartorial and high-tech elements. A classic Prince of Wales trench, for example, is lined with an advanced fabric that makes it warm yet soft and light. It will retail for 710 euros, or $940 at a current exchange rate. A zipped jacket features padding that provides different warmth to different body parts. The collection also includes T-shirts decorated with vintage Seventies Pirelli advertising campaigns, oversize sweaters and a range of pants, from sprayed jeans to cargoes and chinos.
As for shoes, Pirelli PZero introduced a “bespoke” line, consisting of casual styles realized with the same techniques used by traditional shoemakers. Sneakers and high-tops, with prices ranging from 290 euros, or $383, to 380 euros, or $502, unconventionally show leather soles featuring rubber details to improve the grip.
To boost the expansion of the brand and mark its new course, last September Pirelli PZero opened its first flagship store in the heart of Milan, on Corso Venezia.
Designed by Montagner, the two-story, 16,146-square-foot space features a supertechnological concept, which includes robots for warehouse automation and advanced LED lighting, which cuts 57 percent of energy consumption. In line with the company’s core business, the store’s entrance is decorated with a rubber carpet, while a Maserati 250F car, which raced Formula 1 World Championships from 1954 to 1960, guides the customers into a gallery of pictures and documents from the Pirelli archives.
The store carries all the Pirelli PZero men’s, women’s and kids’ collections, along with special projects, such as the bags and hats produced in collaboration with Valextra and Borsalino, respectively.
“We are very selective regarding the collaborations we do with other companies, because we aim to be considered a ‘top performer’ in the fashion industry,” Montagner said. “Considering each collaboration as a new chapter of our history, we don’t want to do capsule collections that are interesting only from a commercial point of view, but we want to joint venture with labels that can enrich our know-how.”
For next winter, Pirelli PZero teamed with Burton to create snowboard boots with a sole that will feature the traditional Pirelli tire-tread motif. The boots will retail at 335 euros, or $441.
Giani said he was “satisfied with the performance of the store in these first months,” although he said results “have been surely impacted by the difficulties of the economy, in particular in the national market. The last quarter of 2011 has been particularly difficult at retail, especially in Italy, and I think that the trend will continue in the first quarter of 2012.”
Despite the uncertainty of the global scenario, Giani is projecting that the store will have revenues of more than 3.5 million euros, or $4.6 million, in 2012.
Looking ahead, the company is hoping to add more retail doors around the world. “We are considering the possibilities of unveiling new stores starting from 2013, in particular in those markets where the Pirelli brand is incredibly popular, such as South America, Russia and Asia,” Giani said.
The wholesale channel remains crucial for the company, which currently counts 400 points of sale worldwide for shoes, along with 100 doors for its apparel collections.
“We are focused on selective distribution, and we aim to sign partnership deals to open shops-in-shop, corners and dedicated areas inside stores, which are strategic for the positioning of the brand,” said Giani, who also revealed the company’s goal to increase its wholesale penetration to 700 doors for shoes and 400 for fashion.
To complete the presence of the brand on the global market, Pirelli PZero is also planning to launch an international online store before the end of the year.
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)