MILAN — The year 2021 is looking promising for Brunello Cucinelli SpA, as the namesake entrepreneur also reported “a strong acceleration” in the men’s wear category and a return to the suit and dressing well.
Cucinelli said the brand’s men’s collections are registering an even faster recovery compared to women’s. The men’s fall 2021 collections “are already showing very interesting sell-out figures, which we could consider somewhat ‘surprising’ at this time of the year. The comparison with our multibrand customers confirms this great desire for novelty on the part of the male clientele, which is often described to us as ‘disoriented’ in the face of a growing fashion component of the market offer,” Cucinelli said.
The entrepreneur reiterated that men now are “looking for an even more sophisticated look, in which jackets are once again playing a primary role. We imagine that the pleasure of dressing well will start again also from the suit, symbol of elegance by definition, but we believe that it must be reinterpreted in a modern key, casual and free from the previous formal canons.”
The Italian luxury company on Tuesday reported preliminary first-half revenues, comparing them with the same period of 2019, considering a comparison with the first half of 2020 “of limited relevance” given the lockdowns and the closure of many boutiques globally, especially in the second quarter last year.
In the six months ended June 30, revenues rose 7 percent to 313.7 million euros, compared with 291.4 million euros in the first half of 2019. Compared with the same period last year, sale climbed 52.9 percent.
The company registered 13.8 percent growth in revenues in the second quarter of 2021, reaching 149.1 million euros, compared to the same period in 2019.
“We are particularly pleased with the results achieved in this half year and even more so with the great attention we are receiving for our brand,” said executive chairman and creative director Brunello Cucinelli. He said sales of the spring 2021 collection “have been very good,” and the beginning of the fall 2021 season “confirms the wonderful sensations that we had already felt during the collection of orders,” also touting the feedback received from the men’s spring 2022 collection.
He expressed pride in the upcoming collaboration with Oliver Peoples, controlled by Luxottica, which will allow the brand to launch its first eyewear capsule collection next October, as reported.
“All these considerations allow us to look forward to the second half of the year with fresh and very confident eyes, expecting excellent sales growth for the whole of 2021,” in the region of a 20 percent increase compared to 2020, and a growth of around 10 percent in 2022.
Cucinelli said he expected his namesake company to continue to grow in 2023, “fully realigning with the objectives of the first five-year period (2019-23) of the 2019-2028 10-year plan, which should lead us to double our revenues to around 1.1 billion euros in 2028.”
Compared to the first half of 2019, sales in Europe rose 9.2 percent to 95.9 million euros, representing 43.7 percent of total revenues, including Italy. Local, and physical, shopping helped deliver a strong performance particularly in the Russian Federation, in Central Northern Europe and in general in second-tier cities throughout Europe.
Cucinelli encouraged a return to physical shopping through the organization of a series of exclusive events in several boutiques around the world. The main European cities and capitals showed a marked improvement in the second quarter, partly thanks to the reopening of stores, with a partial recovery of regional tourist flows. The company cited the expansion of the London and Paris boutiques as helping to contribute to the uptick in sales.
Revenues in Italy declined 7.5 percent to 41 million euros, but reported a significant improvement in performance in the second quarter, thanks also to the reopening of boutiques and the increased presence of customers in the main cities.
Sales in the Americas grew 5.1 percent to almost 100 million euros, registering marked growth in traffic and results in luxury department stores, following an increase in sales in specialty stores in the preceding months.
Revenues in the Asian market climbed 19.7 percent to 76.8 million euros, representing 24.5 percent of the company’s total revenues, reporting even stronger increases in mainland China. “Growth in domestic China, whose potential is of primary interest in our long-term plan, is favored both by purchases by traditional customers and by new customers, who approach our brand guided by the evolution of their taste, interest in the product and adherence to the values that our brand expresses,” stated the company on Tuesday. “Macau’s results for the first half of the year were also positive; there was a marked improvement in performance in Hong Kong, where we expect a gradual return to normality only after the reopening of borders.”
The Korean market showed vitality, while Japan was still penalized by the instability of traffic in the main department stores.
In the first half of 2021, retail sales were up 10.3 percent to 165.3 million euros, compared to the first half of 2019, accounting for 52.7 percent of sales. In the second quarter, retail revenues grew 16.6 percent compared to the same period in 2019.
Cucinelli underscored that the growth of the company reflected the loyalty of the brand’s customers, “the predominant domestic nature of our business in many markets and the contribution of new customers.”
As of June 30, the retail network comprised 112 boutiques, compared to 107 boutiques at the end of June last year.
The wholesale channel grew by 4.9 percent to 148.3 million euros compared to the first half of 2019, representing 47.3 percent of the total.
Cucinelli, a strong believer in the multibrand channel, noted that there had been 10 conversions to direct management of the brand’s shops in luxury department stores in the first six months of 2021.
With an ongoing focus on the product, Cucinelli trumpeted the quality of deliveries, which “confirm the value and the precious contribution of the solid productive structure of our company, with more than 350 artisan laboratories, all based in Italy, able to guarantee at the same time a manual component of more than 50 percent in our collections, and a modern and reliable work organization. This organization has already allowed us in recent months to return perfectly in line with the ideal timing of production, with a very important advantage in deliveries.”