MILAN — Although Prada Group is in talks with Italian unions about laying off a number of workers at the Genny factories in Ancona, the group’s chief financial officer, Riccardo Stilli, said the company “has no plans to terminate the Genny label or to sell the factories,” and that the number of employees that were asked to leave is not confirmed yet.
Stilli characterized the layoffs as “a small reduction” and said they’re part of a restructuring strategy that will allow Prada to focus on the plants and actually boost production. Besides Genny, Helmut Lang and part of the Prada collections are produced at the Ancona plants.
“We’ve always declared that we were interested in Genny’s production facilities,” said Stilli. The technologically advanced factories, built in the early Nineties when the Byblos and Genny brands were at their apex, can produce 600,000 units a year, specializing in jackets, coats and clothing in lightweight fabrics. They also have ample storage facilities.
Stefano Ruvolo, national secretary of the fashion branch of EMCA (Energia, Moda, Chimica e Affari) union, said he was “worried about the future of the plants” and said the number of workers at risk was 55 out of a total 270, or about 20 percent. He also said the union had not seen a “relaunch” of the plants since they were acquired by Prada in 2001, nor a long-term industrial project from the group. Stilli said that “on the other hand, moving production of other brands to Ancona was proof that Prada was focused on enhancing the plants.”
Genny is currently designed by Francisco Rosas, who previously worked at Byblos and Valentino.
In July 2001, Prada bought Genny and Byblos from its chairman, Donatella Girombelli. In the spring of 2002, Prada sold the Byblos brand to Swinger International.
This story first appeared in the February 14, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.