MILAN — Ports 1961 has named Milan Vukmirovic as creative director for men’s wear. His first collection will bow for fall 2015.
This is a new position as the brand’s creative director, Fiona Cibani, was previously in charge of both women’s and men’s wear categories — the latter developed with the help of Ian Hylton.
The new appointment is a sign of the company’s strategy to further develop its men’s division. The eclectic Vukmirovic has worked for brands including Chevignon, Trussardi and Jil Sander. An experienced retailer, he was art director and buyer at Colette in Paris, before cofounding The Webster boutique in Miami Beach. Also a stylist and photographer, he has led L’Officiel Hommes.
Global general manager Salem Cibani said the company “very much believes” in the men’s wear category, which accounts for 30 to 35 percent of sales. “This is impressive considering that women’s wear is much more established. We are ready to take the next step. We’ve seen positive results and see an opportunity to further develop this category,” he told WWD. Men’s wear was launched in 2011, while the brand’s women’s wear dates back to 2004.
The firm held its first men’s wear runway show in Milan during men’s fashion week in January after several seasons of presentations.
Vukmirovic is very much aligned with Ports 1961’s idea of men’s wear, according to Cibani. “There is a common understanding. We talked to several candidates but he was the strongest in terms of synergies and personality, which is very important. We are thinking long-term, this is like a marriage,” explained Cibani.
The young and affable executive, who is the brother of Fiona Cibani, remarked on how men’s wear is “a very different animal from women’s, and is a very complex business.” Vukmirovic perfectly exemplifies the combination of different influences and trends, he said. “He is a Parisian based in Miami, he worked at Colette, he has done men’s and women’s and he has his finger on the pulse,” said Cibani.
Vukmirovic will continue to be based in Miami and travel to Milan, where Ports 1961 is headquartered, but Cibani said he will be “exclusively dedicated to Ports.”
Ports 1961 relocated to Milan from New York in 2011 and products are made in Italy.
The brand has been expanding its business, introducing its first women’s handbags and accessories for fall.
Ports 1961 collections are sold in about 100 doors worldwide, including Neiman Marcus in Los Angeles, Bosco di Ciliegi in Moscow, Quartier 206 in Berlin and Harvey Nichols in Kuwait City, Kuwait.
There are monobrand boutiques in New York and Paris and the company will open units in Shanghai and Hong Kong in December.
Ports 1961 is controlled by Ports Design Ltd., based and publicly listed in Hong Kong — a holding with yearly sales of about 225 million euros, or $303 million.
Ports 1961 represents about 5 percent of Ports Design’s total sales. Positioned in the luxury segment, Ports 1961 has seen revenues double since 2011.
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