By  on October 27, 2009

MILAN — Italian casualwear firm Harmont & Blaine SpA plans to launch women’s wear and will continue to expand its retail network, including in the U.S., after forecasting revenue increases of 10 percent in 2009 and 15 percent in 2010.

The company has also re-signed Italy soccer captain and Juventus defender Fabio Cannavaro as its spokesmodel for the next five seasons, starting with the current fall collection. Cannavaro previously fronted the brand in 2006-07.

“Like Harmont & Blaine, Fabio won’t let you down,” Harmont & Blaine chief executive officer Domenico Menniti said at a presentation here of the new campaign on Monday. “[Cannavaro] is the only Italian personality today who is able to accompany an ambitious program of international growth like the one we have undertaken.”

Regarding women’s wear, Menniti said he was close to finalizing a deal with a manufacturer with “major know-how” and that the collection would be presented in June and bow for spring 2011. He gave no other details.

After opening boutiques in Miami, Istanbul and Hong Kong earlier this year, Menniti confirmed other stores would follow in 2010 in New York, Beverly Hills, Shanghai, Beijing, Beirut, Cairo and Turkey. The expansion plans also include two new Harmont & Blaine cafes in Tel Aviv and Doha, Qatar, in the first quarter.

Harmont & Blaine’s retail network spans 29 stores in Italy, seven of which are franchised, and 28 in the rest of the world, as well as one cafe in Porto Rotondo, Sardinia. The label’s men’s and children’s clothing and accessories are also available at wholesale in around 600 doors.

Revenues increased 11.5 percent to 21.8 million euros, or $29.1 million, in the first six months of 2009 and are expected to reach 44 million euros, or $66 million, by yearend, Menniti said. Dollar figures were converted at average exchange rates for the periods to which they refer.

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