MONTE CARLO — Many luxury brands take their shows on the road, but in the case of Alberta Ferretti, there is more than one reason for presenting her resort collection here.
The show coincides with the opening of the brand’s boutique in Monte Carlo at the Metropole Shopping Center. The location is in line with the label’s exclusive positioning and its other most recent opening, in fact, took place in the luxury destination of Qatar’s Doha.
Alberta Ferretti’s retail network comprises eight directly operated Alberta Ferretti boutiques and 13 franchised. The brand has a strong wholesale presence globally, while only 33 percent of revenues derive from the retail channel.
Massimo Ferretti, who is the executive chairman of parent company Aeffe SpA and the brother of the designer, mapped out the evolution of the brand. In addition to the Limited Edition collection, which has allowed it to “reach an even higher segment and a very demanding clientele with specific needs,” the Alberta Ferretti brand over the past three years has approached a different customer, while remaining true to its essential elements, “elegance, quality pieces and high-end sartorial details.”
Through more easy-chic capsules, with an important evolution in terms of sustainability, the label has “started a dialogue with an expanded and young public.”
In March, the designer in London also launched a sustainable capsule, called “Love Me,” in collaboration with Eco-Age and Livia Firth, which made its debut in time for Earth Day. “It is concrete, in the use of organic or recycled materials and especially in raising the public’s awareness to respect the planet,” said Massimo Ferretti. The capsule was made using only eco-friendly materials such as recycled cashmere and organic cotton. The designer started looking into the social and environmental issues in fashion’s supply chain in 2011. At the time, Ferretti had joined forces with Emma Watson and People Tree, a fair trade organization in Bangladesh that employs mainly artisans, to create a capsule using organic materials. She has been integrating those materials into her collections ever since.
As reported, in 2018 Aeffe partnered with Triboo, a company listed on Alternative Investment Market Italia, to launch a global omnichannel distribution project, taking its online and off-line sales channels in-house. The Italian fashion group created a dedicated team to focus on the online stores of Moschino, Alberta Ferretti and Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini. The three brands’ online stores were previously operated by the Yoox Net-a-porter Group.
Aeffe, publicly listed on Italy’s Star segment of the Italian Bourse, comprises the Alberta Ferretti, Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini, Moschino and Pollini brands and produces and distributes the Jeremy Scott and Cédric Charlier labels.
Ferretti touted the decision to internally manage the online channel also for Alberta Ferretti. “It was the right choice, from every point of view, also because it allows a better management of logistics, communication and relations with our end customers at a crucial time for the Alberta Ferretti brand,” said the executive, who emphasized that the label is “much more in contact with a younger and (more) dynamic” audience.
Direct online sales account for 6 percent of the brand’s sales and the channel “is rapidly growing,” noted Ferretti.
A first major step was taken by the designer in 2012, when she decided to focus solely on her namesake collection. That year, she started delegating the Philosophy line first to Natalie Ratabesi, who was followed by Lorenzo Serafini, tapped in 2014.
In the past, Alberta Ferretti’s pre-collection has been presented together with the Limited Edition collection alternatively in Milan and Paris, coinciding with couture week or during Men’s Fashion Week in Milan. For example, for her resort 2019 lineup in June, the designer hosted a runway show in Milan, which kicked off the city’s Men’s Fashion Week.
It is easy to understand the relevance of the show, which is part of the Monte-Carlo Fashion Week, as the Alberta Ferretti resort collection accounts for 50 percent of the brand’s sales in 2019, said the executive.
In addition, the Chambre Monégasque de la Mode — the country’s fashion council — decided to bestow the designer, invited as “Guest of Honor,” with the Made in Italy Fashion Award. The awards established in 2015 have recognized the “outstanding contribution to fashion” of a number of personalities and brands, including Naomi Campbell, Versace, Kean Etro, Philipp Plein and Chiara Boni, among others.
Organized by the local fashion chamber, which marks its 10th anniversary this year, in partnership with the Monaco government, municipality and tourism office, Monte-Carlo Fashion Week is the official fashion event of the Principality of Monaco. The event supports the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation, a charity established in 2012.
This event also dovetails with Aeffe’s strategic expansion outside Italy. In particular, for Alberta Ferretti, its main market remains Europe, followed by the Far East and the U.S.
Marcello Tassinari, general director of Aeffe SpA, told WWD in March that 2018 was “one of the best” in the group’s history. To be sure, the Italian fashion group closed 2018 with a 46 percent gain in net profits, which climbed to 16.7 million euros.
Last year, sales rose 10.9 percent to 346.6 million euros, lifted by a strong performance of its ready-to-wear and footwear and leather goods divisions.
At the time, Massimo Ferretti touted the company’s “effective strategy,” based on “significant investments in the stylistic research for the portfolio’s brands, the strengthening of business relationships with the wholesale network and a calibrated retail presence,” and trumpeted an efficient business model. For the current year, he said he hoped for further development of Aeffe’s portfolio of brands.
This month, Aeffe said it had logged another quarter of growth, boosted in particular by a 20.1 percent increase in mainland China.
In the three months ended March 31, Aeffe reported a 4.3 percent gain in net profit to 11.8 million euros, achieved “despite signs of macroeconomic and geopolitical uncertainty,” said Ferretti.