After the first presentation under Sciutto’s lead in September, Sergio Rossi is working on another performance format for February, as it invests in a new store concept, a new advertising campaign and a new in-house online store.
The advertising images photographed in Paris by artist Charles Pétillon present the new SR1 collection for spring and hark back to the brand’s elegant sophistication of years past, foregoing the more recent explicit and highly charged sexy photos. The SR1 sabots and slippers are displayed in repetition in a graphic patterns of nude and light blue, with a dynamic touch.
“We have hired 80 employees in all different divisions, bringing back several steps of production in-house,” said Sciutto, enthusing about the potential of the brand. The company’s manufacturing plant is in San Mauro Pascoli in Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region, one of the country’s most important leather goods hubs. Covering 194,400 square feet, the state-of-the-art plant with solar panels produces around 250,000 pairs of shoes a year.
Sergio Rossi is also unveiling a new in-house web site in mid-February, which will allow additional control over the brand. Sciutto spoke of the rebirth of the brand: “We have to return to the original nature of the label as it was established by its namesake founder. The brand is untarnished and still has a strong appeal globally,” he said. The company had previously worked with Yoox since 2012.
“We are also working on a new store concept that will be presented for the first time in April with the opening of the Sergio Rossi shop-in-shop at Ginza Six in Tokyo,” Sciutto said.
Sergio Rossi has 58 stores worldwide. Following the opening in Tokyo in April there will be openings at: China World and Shin Kong Place in Pechino and Harbour City in Hong Kong. Toward the end of 2017 the flagship stores in Milan and in Paris will be refurbished and there will also be a focus on the U.S.
SR1 is the first collection to be unveiled by the new owner of the luxury footwear brand, Investindustrial, under the lead of Sciutto and the design team.
In September, the collection was presented at Milan’s Teatro Filodrammatici with a live ballet performance. The company has enlisted talents such as Patrick Kinmonth and Antonio Monfreda as art directors of the performance. Following the exit of design director Angelo Ruggeri in May, the brand is designed by an in-house team. The company has decided to suspend the men’s division to focus on its women’s category.
Sciutto, who purchased 400 designs to create a Sergio Rossi archive, was previously general manager of Hogan.
European investment house Investindustrial in December 2015 took control of Sergio Rossi from Kering, and tapped former Pomellato ceo Andrea Morante as president of the firm. Investindustrial was founded by Italian financier Andrea C. Bonomi and also has stakes in Aston Martin, B&B Italia and luxury lighting firm Flos, among others.
The footwear company was founded by designer Sergio Rossi in the Fifties. Gucci Group, which has since been folded into Kering, snapped up a majority stake in the brand in 1999 during an aggressive acquisition drive masterminded by Domenico De Sole and Tom Ford. The group eventually took full control of the company in 2004.