MILAN — Blufin SpA has taken a U-turn in its strategy to reposition the Anna Molinari line, which will no longer be designed by Rossella Tarabini.
Last November, Blufin, the parent company of Blumarine, Blugirl and Anna Molinari, had revealed Tarabini’s intentions to bypass a full-fledged collection in favor of custom-made, couture-driven pieces. It has now licensed the line to Italian manufacturer Sinv SpA and will be designed by the in-house design team that worked with Tarabini.
According to a spokesman, the 40-year-old designer took a sabbatical to dedicate time to her family.
Based in Vicenza, Sinv is a specialist in secondary lines, counting Love Moschino, See by Chloè and McQ Alexander McQueen among the brands in its portfolio. It supplies its products to more than 4,000 points of sale throughout 93 countries. Sinv posted 2007 sales of 185.7 million euros, or $271 million at current exchanger rates, a 13 percent hike over the previous year, and produces 3.5 million apparel items annually.
The first Anna Molinari collection under the new agreement will bow in July for spring 2009 and will start retailing in January 2009.
“This agreement represents a relevant evolution for the growth process of Anna Molinari,” said Blufin chief executive officer Gianguido Tarabini in a statement. “We feel that the collaboration with a highly structured and organized group like Sinv will guarantee new business opportunities that will allow us to tackle the increasing market demands while maintaining the line’s modern style.”
He was unavailable to comment on the design setup or repositioning.
Massimo Braglia, ceo at Sinv, is upbeat about the project, citing the company’s vertical structure, facilities, distribution and brand management. “This is the first main line we will tackle, but we feel we can grow the brand thanks to the quality we can offer,” said Braglia. “We’ll make it a bit more accessible but still focus on select doors.”
He said it was premature to disclose sales forecasts, POS or a price range. “Anna Molinari has an international profile that we want to exploit and grow in small steps,” he added.
Tarabini started designing Anna Molinari in 1995 and earned mixed reviews for her collections that fused rock, punk, urban dwellers, the Sixties and Seventies. It’s unclear whether the Anna Molinari line was profitable. In 2007, Blufin had sales of 105.5 million euros, or $154 million.
This story first appeared in the March 11, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Sources indicated Tarabini’s departure is partially linked to issues with her brother, heightened by the death of Gianpaolo Tarabini, the group’s ceo and Molinari’s husband, in 2006. Rossella’s brother, Gianguido Tarabini, replaced him at the helm. Anna Molinari designs Blumarine and Blugirl.