MILAN — The economy isn’t stopping accessories brands from expanding their men’s collections, or, for companies that had targeted only women until now, to venture into new territory.
Case in point: Furla, which is launching a men’s accessories collection at Pitti Uomo designed by a new, dedicated team. After a soft launch in June, the Bologna-based company is focused and determined to grow the line to about 15 percent of sales within three years.
“The men’s wear market is resilient and not suffering too much in this economy,” said chief executive officer Paolo Fontanelli, who also noted the move is in line with Furla’s expansion in China. “In some emerging markets such as China, it is penalizing not to have a men’s wear collection because men are the big spenders there and we are very much focused on that region.”
The ceo noted that the men’s accessories collection was previewed on the brand’s e-commerce site for the spring 2009 season. “In four weeks, we registered brisk business with lots of women buying, too,” said Fontanelli.
Key to the success of the collection, he believes, is that it offers real leather product, which is made in Italy, at an approachable price point. Retail prices average around 350 euros, or $486 at current exchange. In addition to work-related items, there will be travel pieces and small leather goods in calf, sometimes combined with felt, or with a crocodile print.
Church’s also is betting on men’s spending power by expanding its product offering. To unveil the brand’s product extension, the iconic footwear firm will relocate and update its Pitti Uomo stand with a mock shop reproducing the new generation of Church’s stores opened throughout last year. Among the new items that will be offered are knitted and woven silk ties, knitted silk and woven cashmere scarves, blankets, small leather goods, belts and weekend bags in bridle leather, gloves, thermo-bonded waterproof rainwear and the traditional British brollies — umbrellas with crook handles in chestnut with silver collars.
The English company, established in Northampton in 1873 and now controlled by Prada Group, believes its modern take on traditional British accessories will allow Church’s to create a lifestyle brand.
Italia Independent, founded by Fiat heir Lapo Elkann, has joined forces with historic milliner Borsalino to create a new hat collection. In addition, it will continue its handmade footwear line produced by Tuscan firm Arfango.
The two-year-old I-I reinterpreted the classic Borsalino hat in three different models, using fabrics from its apparel collection. One hat is made in Cordura, the same material used for the tuxedo jacket; another is wool with the same exclusive grunge pattern, and the third is a hat that can be rolled up in a color combination similar to that of I-I’s driving shoes.
“One of the prerogatives of I-I is that it reinterprets the clothing icons and makes them closer to a contemporary style,” said Elkann. “In the same way, we want to transform an evergreen icon of elegance into a new cult object for the younger generation,” he said of the hats, labeled “Borsalino Handmade for Italia Independent.”
Activewear brand Puma and Sergio Rossi, which teamed up earlier this year to launch a women’s capsule collection for spring, have extended their offerings to men’s shoes and will present that collection in Milan on Jan. 19. One design will reinterpret Puma’s iconic Clyde sneaker, which made its debut in 1973, in suede or patent leather.
At Pitti, designer Manuel Bozzi, best known for his belts with guitar-shaped buckles and whose jewels embellish Marithé + François Girbaud’s jeans, will launch animal-themed rings — including a panther — and charms inspired by Keith Richards’ guitars. All jewels are handmade in Tuscany’s Pontedera in sterling silver.
@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