MILAN — Aeffe, the luxury goods group that produces Alberta Ferretti, Moschino, Narciso Rodriguez, Rifat Ozbek and Jean Paul Gaultier, is doubling the size of its Pollini women’s collection for fall in an extension of its brand portfolio.
Pollini, which is mainly an accessories company, introduced ready-to-wear this spring. The company is currently selling the fall-winter 2003 collection to buyers from its Manhattan showroom. “The American market is pivotal for Pollini and we are planning events, local promotion, a focused advertising campaign and a careful product placement,” said Massimo Ferretti, owner of Aeffe with his sister, designer Alberta Ferretti. “For the first collection, we’ve reached our goal of 100 clients around the world.”
Aeffe bought 72 percent of Pollini in 2001, while the eponymous family retained the rest of the shares. Ferretti described the new Pollini line, which is done by an in-house team of designers, as a “sportswear-chic collection — comfortable and functional, but elegant at the same time.”
The collection is positioned at the upper end of the price spectrum. “We are investing in high-quality materials and research of new technology and finishings,” said Ferretti. For example, the company has developed an antiwrinkle technique used on parachutes. For the spring-summer collection, other materials included laser-perforated openwork napa and cotton treated with enzymes for a vintage effect. The first women’s collection was comprised of 60 models which included pantsuits, low-waisted skirts with side slits below the knee, waxed napa dusters, snug leather jackets and belted trenchcoats.
For fall-winter, Ferretti said the collection is made up of 120 designs. Materials include fleece rayon with a polyurethane coating, lightweight polyester jersey and rayon twill, and a stretch, double polyester and cotton in gray, ink, indigo and navy and black.
Ferretti is also expanding production of Pollini accessories to accompany the ready-to-wear. Pollini, which is based in Emilia in central Italy, produces footwear and handbags for all Aeffe brands. Pollini currently accounts for 16 percent of the group’s sales, or about $40 million a year.
There are 14 directly operated and 16 franchised Pollini boutiques in the world. Two boutiques will open in Prague and Moscow this spring.
The U.S. currently accounts for 20 percent of Aeffe’s sales, which were about $241 million in 2001. Ferretti said he expected a single-digit sales increase for 2002 and a double-digit increase for 2003.