MILAN — AGL aims to increase its presence in the United States through the opening of its first North American showroom.The footwear brand, which operates showrooms in Milan, Paris and Düsseldorf, is gearing up to inaugurate at the end of July its first North American venue. Located on New York’s Sixth Avenue, the 1,800-square-foot space will sell the brand’s collections starting with the spring 2019 season.“A year-and-a-half ago, we opened a small temporary showroom in New York and it actually worked well,” said Sara Giusti, who along with sisters Vera and Marianna, manages the brand founded by their grandfather Piero Giusti in 1958. “The positive results we got actually pushed us to invest in a permanent showroom, where we can show our collections to American clients at their best.”In keeping with the upcoming opening of the New York showroom, AGL has introduced its first pre-collection with the resort 2019 season. The brand will also launch a pre-fall lineup in November.“We decided to introduce pre-collections to respond to a request coming from the market. Especially in the U.S., we realized that customers are looking for ‘buy-now-wear-now’ styles, which are kind of nonseasonal, and the purchases are guided more and more by the specific occasions,” Giusti said. “At the same time, we consider the introduction of pre-collections as a new chance to experiment and play with our creativity.”According to Sara, the pre-collections will be distributed as drops in different moments of the season, enabling retailers to constantly display new products on the shelves. The first part of the resort 2019 collection will be delivered in November in time for the holiday season.In the U.S., AGL is sold in 65 multibrand boutiques, as well as in 65 Nordstrom locations across the country. The U.S. represents the footwear label’s biggest market, accounting for 35 percent of the company’s business. The U.S. is followed by Germany and Russia. AGL launched e-commerce in Europe, Russia and U.S. three years ago and, according to Giusti, it already broke even.The brand’s collections retail from $350 to $600. “I think our prices are extremely reasonable for being 100 percent Made in Italy and they enabled us to be competitive on department stores’ designer shoe floors,” said Giusti, who added that the brand’s collections are sold in 1,040 points of sales in the world. In September, AGL also inaugurated its first corner at Paris’ Galleries Lafayette department store.Among the projects in the brand’s pipeline is the expansion of the bag division and the introduction of small leather goods starting with the spring 2019 season. In addition, the company is working to enter the Chinese and South Korean markets. “Asia has incredible potentials and we are carefully studying it to fully understand its dynamics and then approach it in the most efficient way,” Giusti said.According to her, the company expects to close 2018 with results in line with the previous year, when AGL generated revenues of 32 million euros.
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