MILAN — While 2021 may one of “rebalance” for Brunello Cucinelli, the always-philosophical entrepreneur also admitted that it has been a “golden year.”
With the luxury brand seeing a 32.7 percent increase in revenues for the first nine months of the year over a year earlier, Cucinelli also has lots of plans in place to sustain its momentum. One is an investment in a former industrial space covering eight hectares, or about 540,000 square feet, that will allow him to expand the company. The project is expected to be completed in 2024 and is in sync with Cucinelli’s 10-year goal to double sales compared with 2018.
“We will start cleaning up the site next year and gradually invest in the location, which will be devoted to production,” Cucinelli said Thursday.
Then there is significant project in Solomeo, the medieval hamlet he has restored over the years and that is the base of his operations, which will “provide a future for the next 100 years, at least,” Cucinelli said. His family foundation will reveal the details at an event on Oct. 28.
During a conference call with analysts on Thursday at the end of trading in Milan, Cucinelli teased these upcoming projects, which are a source of pride — and some angst. The latter is caused by a speech that he is slated to give at the end of the month in “a very important international forum” on the topics of human sustainability and humanistic capitalism — two of the topics the businessman has long focused on and discussed. No additional details were provided as he said he was not at liberty to reveal them yet.
He was pleased to talk about his brand’s revenues in the first nine months, which amounted to 502.6 million euros, up 9.4 percent compared to the end of September 2019. Compared to the end of September 2020, sales climbed 32.7 percent. In the third quarter of 2021, sales totaled 188.8 million, up 12.5 percent compared to the same period in 2019. The performance was compared to 2019, seen as more meaningful, given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
“The first nine months of the year have gone very, very well indeed,” said Cucinelli, who holds the role of executive chairman and creative director. He said the fall collections “are proving very successful worldwide and everywhere we are seeing a strong desire to return to physical stores. We honestly couldn’t have imagined such an excellent result just a year ago. All this leads us to envisage that we will end the current year with a wonderful 25 percent growth in turnover compared to 2020.”
For next year, Cucinelli said he expects 10 percent growth in sales.
In the nine months ended Sept. 30, sales in Europe rose 31.6 percent to 151.4 million euros compared with 2020 and 14.1 percent compared to 2019, lifted by a loyal customer base. In September, Cucinelli cut the ribbon on his New Bond Street store in Mayfair, and also picked up the British GQ Designer of the Year award, which he proudly referred to several times during the call.
The wholesale channel reached sales of 237.7 million euros, up 3.3 percent compared with the same period in 2019, and up 13.5 percent compared with 2020.