MILAN  Italian fashion manufacturing company Gilmar SpA has acquired a 30 percent minority stake in 2112 Srl, the company operating the No. 21 women and men’s wear label.

The brand’s creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua, who established the upper contemporary firm in 2010, maintains a 70 percent majority stake in 2112.

Following the operation, which marks an evolution in the relationship between the fashion brand and the manufacturing company that has been producing and distributing No. 21 since the spring-summer 2013 collection, Gilmar chief executive officer Paolo Gerani has been named president of 2112.

“I like the fact that this is a real Italian operation and that No. 21, which started as a very small project four years ago, is getting really great results,” said Gerani, highlighting that Gilmar allocated a specific team to handle the production and distribution of the label. “I think that Alessandro [Dell’Acqua] had the intuition that nowadays the market has taken a clear path and it’s necessary to make things with an excellent quality at competitive prices.”

“Gilmar is one the biggest Italian companies in this sector and for me it’s a great honor to work with them,” Dell’Acqua said. “I also realized that it’s crucial to be backed by a big company to make the brand work at its best.”

According to No. 21 ceo Roberto Ortello, the brand expects to close 2015 with revenues of 24 million euros, or $26.8 million at current exchange rates, up 55 percent compared to 2014.

“These are great figures if we consider that when we took over the production of the brand in 2013 the company was generating revenues of 4 million euros,” Gerani said.

Ortello also said that the company is developing a retail strategy that includes the opening of a flagship in Milan between the end of this year and the first months of 2016, along with debuting a second boutique in Tokyo by 2015 and eight doors in Korea within three years. No. 21 already operates two shop-in-shops in Seoul.

“The next big step is opening the North American market,” said Gerani, who revealed that the company has signed a partnership agreement with CD Network, which will handle the distribution of No. 21 in the United States.

“Even if we already sell in high-end multibrand boutiques, our goal is to get into the department stores,” said Dell’Acqua, who will present his No. 21 resort 2016 collection in New York on June 8.

A men’s range launched in January 2014 and accounting for 20 percent of the brand’s business flanks the women’s collections. The brand also offers a bag line and a footwear range, produced under license by Kalliste and distributed by the Milan- and New York-based Massimo Bonini showroom.

“We aim to add more licensees, in particular eyewear and children’s wear,” Ortello said.

Starting from Wednesday, No. 21 collections, which are available in about 500 points of sale in the world, will be also sold online at the brand’s boutique on GilmarLab.com, the company’s new e-commerce platform. For the launch, Dell’Acqua designed a capsule collection of T-shirts exclusively available online.

GilmarLab.it will also feature the online stores of the manufacturing company’s labels, including Iceberg, Paolo Pecora and Siviglia.

Gilmar produces and distributes the collections of Fausto Puglisi, as well.

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