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Neil Barrett to Centralize Production

Neil Barrett is centralizing under one roof — his own — and to that end, has set up set up a production company called Factory in Italy.

MILAN — Neil Barrett is centralizing production under one roof — his own.

This story first appeared in the September 25, 2009 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The designer has set up a production company called Factory, which is based in Fucecchio, Italy, with Ferrero Rosati and Alildo Boschi, the founders of high-end Italian leather goods manufacturer Santacroce. The deal went through in February, but Barrett spoke publicly about it for the first time Thursday at the presentation of his spring women’s ready-to-wear collection.

The designer, who celebrates his 10th anniversary this year, formerly outsourced the majority of production to Prada, which acquired Santacroce from Rosati and Boschi around 10 years ago, and the Allegri Group.

“I am very grateful to Prada and Allegri for giving me the chance to develop my collection, but I felt that the key element to take me forward for the next decade was to be 100 percent in control,” Barrett explained, adding he also is eyeing space around Florence to centralize logistics.

“We will increase our production space to include logistics in the next two years,” Barrett said.

A new 21,530-square-foot factory manufactured Barrett’s spring rtw collections for men and women and is expected to turn out about 110,000 pieces a year, Barrett said. The facility also produces Drome, a leather goods brand for men and women, which launched in June, and leather goods under license.

After launching flagships in Tokyo and Seoul, Barrett has big plans for expansion, which could be financed by the sale of a minority stake in his Milan-based label. Last year, his business generated revenues of 68 million euros, or $100.1 million at average exchange, 70 percent of which came from men’s wear.

The designer said he has extended his collaboration with Italian outerwear specialist Herno with a new line of rainwear available in stores worldwide.