By  on January 8, 2009

MILAN — Who says it’s all doom and gloom?

Italian men’s wear brand Harmont & Blaine SpA said Wednesday that 2008 revenues grew 20 percent to 40 million euros, or $58.9 million at average exchange rates, meeting its full-year forecast. The label, which touts an informal elegance, also reported “excellent” sales so far in 2009.

Harmont chief executive officer Domenico Menniti said the firm has posted double-digit growth year-on-year since its launch in 1995 and added this year would bring continued expansion.

In October, the firm entered into a partnership agreement with Fairton Hong Kong Ltd. to accelerate growth in the Far East by opening 20 sales points in China, Hong Kong and Macau over the next three years. The tie-up is expected to generate additional revenues of 20 million euros, or $27.2 million at current exchange.

The company also plans to open a shop in Qatar later this month and add U.S. flagships in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco before 2011. Currently, Harmont & Blaine counts two U.S. locations, in Southampton, N.Y., and Miami.

“Stores which are under way will be inaugurated in the Middle East, Hong Kong, China and Russia, while serious attention will be given to the American market,” Menniti said.

The men’s fashion firm, based in Caivano on the outskirts of Naples, offers stylish preppy looks such as striped button-down Oxford shirts, fine-gauge cardigans, block-striped rugby and polo shirts and vintage-wash jeans.

The label counts 50 freestanding stores, 27 of which are in Italy, and around 600 points of sale worldwide.

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