TOKYO — Valentino is about to post a double-digit jump in sales for 2010.
Valentino Fashion Group chief executive Stefano Sassi, who flew here to fete a new freestanding store for the house’s diffusion line, Red Valentino, with a cocktail party Thursday night, said last year provided “satisfaction” and the house’s sales are set to grow about 20 percent to 275 million euros, or $375.67 million. Final numbers are due in the coming weeks.
The house, which has undergone several restructuring efforts and ownership changes in the last decade, saw sales drop 11 percent in 2009. Its parent company, Valentino Fashion Group, posted losses in 2008 and 2009.
The 2,475-square-foot Red unit, featuring all-white interiors and vintage furnishings, makes its home in the trendy Aoyama neighborhood. The boutique is on the ground floor while the second level features a showroom and event space leading up to a rooftop terrace. Although the brand has shop-in-shops and corners in the region, this is Red’s biggest statement store in Asia, according to Sassi.
The ceo also dismissed recurring speculation that Valentino Fashion Group’s primary shareholders, private equity fund Permira and certain members of the Marzotto family, are looking to sell the house. The executive said Valentino Fashion Group is turning around and is on track to post another year of growth in 2011.
“I think [the current situation] will stay this way. Besides [the shareholders themselves] have confirmed that this continues to be a long-term project,” he said.
The executive was less resolute when it came to the future of Valentino Fashion Group’s 45 percent stake in Proenza Schouler, which is also rumored to be on the block. Most recent talk has Andrew Rosen of Theory negotiating to buy the stake
“I don’t know, we’ll see…It’s going well. Proenza is growing,” he said of Valentino Fashion Group’s investment in the label.
Returning to the business in Japan, Sassi acknowledged the market here is definitely challenging and consumers are becoming more selective in their purchases. But he said he still sees growing room for both Valentino’s first line and the lower-priced Red collection.
“The average spending of the Japanese luxury customer is very high so probably there can be a bit of a rebalancing in the future. But this doesn’t mean that there isn’t space for companies that do luxury. It’s the opposite,” he said, adding that Japan accounts for about 10 percent of Valentino’s turnover.
Sassi said he thinks the Red line will work well for Japanese consumers. Ultragirly confections heavy on pink and ruffles figure prominently in the spring-summer collection, which is designed by Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli. The clothes are the same as those sold elsewhere in the world.
“I think this line, from the taste point of view caters well to the characteristics of this market,” he said.
Sassi declined to give a sales forecast for Red but he said it’s still a small percentage of Valentino’s overall turnover and the first line accounts for about 85 percent of the total. Red sales points include Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Harrods and Isetan. It currently has flagship stores in London, Rome, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Red retail prices in Japan range from 16,800 yen, or $203, for a ruffled T-shirt to 33,600 yen, or $406, for a pair of ballerina flats or 111,300 yen, or $1,345, for a rose party dress exclusive to the Aoyama store.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews