Braccialini aims to reenter the American market and has teamed with Styvalo Imports as its exclusive distributor and sales agent for North America.
Styvalo Imports will support the brand with direction on the North American market, input on design and shape of handbags, and advertising and merchandising.
The brand is no stranger to the American market. In the Eighties, it was sold at Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and Bergdorf Goodman. As its popularity grew, it built two brick-and-mortar stores — one on West Broadway in New York and another at Aventura Mall in Florida. But during the Aughts, Braccialini faced management issues and was forced to close its U.S. operations. Since then, the brand focused its efforts on the European and Asian markets, opening doors in cities including Florence, Milan, Paris and Doha, Qatar. Braccialini also launched a perfume during that period.
Now established and growing in some 50 countries across Europe and Asia, the company has decided to venture back into the U.S.
Styvalo is helmed by founder and chief executive officer Nick Bavaro (who was Tommy Hilfiger’s former chief operating officer for Canada) and his wife, Lilly Rossi, who is director of marketing. For starters, Styvalo placed the brand with lordandtaylor.com and thebay.com and select specialty stores in Canada. Braccialini is previewing the fall collection with department and specialty store buyers and will show at the Edit trade show Feb. 27 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York.
“We’re taking the time to find the right retail partners to share our creative and brand vision,” said Bavaro. The collection will be a revival of Braccialini’s old styles as well as unique shapes from the Seventies.
Braccialini’s chief marketing officer, Lorenzo Braccialini, explained that the partnership will home in on the strategic placement of the collections — the premium Braccialini TEMI line and the lower-priced Tua Braccialini — in the right environments.
“This ranges from the luxury sector for our most exclusive designs to presenting special or selected styles for moderate department and specialty stores,” said Braccialini. “Once this stage of growth is completed, we are considering a New York flagship by mid-2018.”
Braccialini’s parents, Carla and Roberto, founded the leather-accessories house in Florence in the Fifties. Industry sources estimate that the brand racks up annual sales of more than $100 million and is known for its avant-garde flair, which includes distinctive shapes, use of appliqués and attention to details.