Samuele Failli

MILAN — Onward Luxury Group is expanding its footwear business by signing a licensing agreement with up-and-coming luxury shoe label Samuele Failli.

The group will produce and distribute the collections of the footwear brand established in 2016 by the namesake Tuscan designer.

A graduate of the London College of Fashion, Failli joined the Prada Group in 2004, which he left in 2011 to work at Tom Ford in London and then in Paris at Saint Laurent with Stefano Pilati and later with Hedi Slimane. Most recently, he was the head footwear designer at Azzedine Alaïa.

In February 2017, Failli introduced his brand at Milan Fashion Week with a footwear collection combining Forties’ references with a Seventies’ spirit. The styles ranged from ankle boots with 3-D embellishments to high-heeled sandals and elegant-yet-comfortable flats. Since his first lineup, Failli has always set a signature coin in the sole of the shoes, which is the brand’s distinctive feature.

“It was an honor to be noticed by such an important group and I’m happy to start working with OLG to boost the business of my brand,” said Failli, who controls 70 percent of his namesake label. The remaining 30 percent is in the hands of Exclusive Srl, the manufacturing company producing the brand’s collections.

“We will continue working with this factory, which is already part of our network and which remains pivotal not only for Samuele Failli but also for other brands under the OLG umbrella,” said OLG chief executive officer Fabio Ducci. “With Samuele, we will look especially at the United States where the brand has already received positive feedback, but at the same time, we will explore new markets with a focus on Asia, including Japan, [South] Korea and China.”

A style from Samuele Failli spring 2019 collection

A style from Samuele Failli spring 2019 collection.  Courtesy Photo

In order to be competitive on the international markets, OLG, which will distribute the label’s collections through its showrooms in New York, Paris, Milan and Tokyo, will also support the designer in the development of future designs.

“They have already provided a great merchandiser, who is helping me organize the different product categories,” Failli said.

The Samuele Failli brand is available in some of the most prestigious multibrand stores in the world, including Antonia in Milan, Matches Fashion, Harvey Nichols and Barneys. The collections’ average price goes from 450 euros to 600 euros.

OLG, which controls the Jil Sander luxury fashion house, is under the umbrella of Japanese fashion conglomerate Onward Holdings Co. Ltd., also operating the OLG ready-to-wear division, formerly known as Gibò, as well as the OLG Shoes division, previously Iris. Along with Jil Sander, OLG controls the Charlotte Olympia and La Maison Moreau brands, while it has an investment in OAMC, the label cofounded by Luke Meier, Jil Sander’s creative director together with his wife Lucie Meier. OLG also produces and distributes under license the footwear collections of Rochas Paris, Mulberry, Proenza Schouler, Nina Ricci and See by Chloè.

In addition, OLG is a majority stakeholder in several manufacturing companies, such as knitwear specialist Erika, as well as Frassinetti and Freeland, which produce leather goods and sport shoes, respectively.

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