MILAN — Ittierre is reviewing its portfolio of licenses and streamlining its structure.
This story first appeared in the September 5, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Owner Antonio Bianchi told WWD that, after two seasons, the Karl Lagerfeld Paris license has been mutually terminated before its five-year expiration date. He added that “relations with the Lagerfeld Maison remain excellent.”
The entrepreneur also revealed that the C’N’C license has not been renewed, following the termination of the Costume National license. “We are focusing on our more-profitable licenses,” he explained.
Ittierre has been growing its portfolio of brands with new licenses, including Aquascutum, Tommy Hilfiger Collection and Jean Paul Gaultier’s men’s collection and the designer’s new streetwear line for men and women, Gaultier 2, in addition to Pierre Balmain, Guy Laroche and Galliano.
“These are the brands we will bring forward and grow,” said Bianchi, noting that he is working on renewing the GFF Ferré license. Ittierre also has a production agreement with Thierry Mugler. Additional licenses are not being evaluated before the restructuring of the company, said Bianchi.
A meeting between Bianchi and Italy’s minister of development was held this week in Rome as Ittierre is planning to restructure the company and cut its workforce. “It was a very positive meeting. We inherited 700 workers from the previous owner [Tonino Perna], but we cannot have more than 300 employees, in proportion to our revenues, which last year totaled 130 million euros [$171.3 million],” said Bianchi.
Bianchi, who also owns innerwear and beachwear producer Albisetti SpA, took control of Ittierre in 2011, after almost two years of government-backed bankruptcy protection.
Bianchi lamented “the absence of politicians and social support [since then]. Entrepreneurs must be practical and make their own decisions.” Bianchi said he is seeking an industrial partner and is in talks with several parties, expecting to ink an agreement in the short term. Bianchi is expected to start talking with members of the unions on Thursday. “There is no time to waste,” he said.