PARIS — Slowear, a Venice-based group of made-in-Italy men’s heritage brands, has tapped Ermenegildo Zegna veteran Mario Griariotto as chief executive officer and charged him with developing the business in emerging markets.
Griariotto, 51, succeeds and reports to Slowear founder Roberto Compagno, who has become president and ceo of holding company Industrie Confezioni Tessili.
“Like Zegna, Slowear is also a family-operated business with high-quality labels,” said Griariotto, who joined after 20 years at Zegna, during which he oversaw the start-up of the Tom Ford license and served as managing director for Europe, Middle East and Africa. “[However, Slowear’s] philosophy is atypical. We are more independent from the total look.”
Billed as an antidote to fast-fashion and lifestyle brands, Slowear operates a portfolio of brands specialized in a single product category. Founded in the Fifties, Incotex, the group’s mainstay, specializes in upscale casual slacks. The other brands are Glanshirt for men’s shirts, Montedoro for outerwear and Zanone for high-end knitwear.
“By covering various categories we are able to offer retailers the option to join the different products to create a wardrobe comprising the best skills and know-how for each brand,” Griariotto said.
Group earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in 2008 hit 9 million euros, or $13.2 million, on turnover of 60 million euros, or $88.3 million.
Griarotto said he hopes to grow revenues by 5 percent this year, boosted by Asia. Slowear is to open an 1,100-square-foot franchised store in Hong Kong on June 8, and plans more units in Macau, Seoul, Taipei and Singapore in the next two years, followed by Beijing and Shanghai. As of now, Slowear counts a directly operated store in Milan and a store in Paris called “Officina Slowear,” which translates as “Slowear Workshop.” The group also wholesales in the U.S. to 55 specialty and department stores.
“Incotex has a commanding leadership in Italy in terms of credibility and distribution, which is no small feat in what can be described as the most competitive market in the world,” Griariotto asserted. “This country represents a real test of success and ideally a lab where you hone your skills. If you can succeed here you are ready to compete in any other market.”
He added the company was also looking to invest in its women’s offering.
“We are at the beginning of a new era,” Griariotto said. “The term luxury has not been used with the right intention. It’s not about building cathedral-like stores and diversifying brands but about putting the focus on value, quality and specialized savoir faire.”
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@Pharrell and his wife Helen Lasichanh were among the stars that came out to celebrate @rimowa’s first pop-up concept shop. The space, which is located on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, draws inspiration from airport luggage carousels and lounge areas – and features the company’s luggage and accessories. If the pop-up is successful it could pave the way for addition temporary shops throughout the world. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA)
@carineroitfeld celebrated @crfashionbook’s first calendar last night with a dinner party at Spring Place in Manhattan. Photographed by @stevenkleinstudio, the calendar takes on a fitness theme and features @joansmalls, @gigihadid, @danielle_herrington_ – pictured here – and more. “[Carine Roitfeld] wanted me to feel sexy and she wanted me to be myself and feel it out on my own and do what I felt was right,” said Herrington, aka Miss October. #wwdeye
@saintrecords and @virgilabloh last night at @americanexpress’ “A Night With Success Makers” event. “I always bring it back to community because without that I wouldn’t have the courage,” said Knowles when asked how she has gotten where she is now. Read more highlights from their conversation on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lizdoupnik)
This Just In: Industry sources have told WWD that Anastasia Soare is rumored to be considering selling her beauty business, @anastasiabeverlyhills. According to those sources, Soare has tapped investment bank Imperial Capital to explore sale options for her eponymous beauty brand –– and with at least $340 million in net sales, this would be a big deal. Put in context of other recent transactions for makeup companies, Soare’s price tag could be in the billions if she were to sell the whole thing. #wwdnews #wwdbeauty (📷: @clint_spaulding)
@assouline’s latest book, “The Spirit of Bentley: Be Extraordinary” captures the adventurous attitudes and opulent lifestyles of @bentleymotors’ most creative owners and enthusiasts throughout the U.K. The 292-page hardcover has a section dedicated to showing its team of skilled artisans and photos of its most colorful owners, from George Bamford to designer @alicetemperley, pictured here by Aline Coquelle. #wwdeye
@google released its report on the most popular search terms this year. For fashion brands, the list was led by @gucci, the luxury brand that stunned the market last October when it pledged to stop using fur. Runner ups were @supremenewyork and @fashionnova, along with more established brands like @louisvuitton, @chanelofficial and @ysl. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)