Ballantyne has passed under the control of Corso Italia SpA, the company established by the brand’s creative director Fabio Gatto, who has acquired the Scottish label from Charme Investments S.C.A. fund.
The operation is valued at about 6 million euros, or $6.8 million at current exchange.
Charme Investments, which bought Ballantyne in 2004, tapped Gatto in October 2013. After designing two collections, at the end of last year, Gatto also signed an agreement with the Luxembourg-based fund to produce and distribute the label’s collections under license.
“We are aware that Ballantyne is a fascinating brand with a strong heritage, but at the same time we understand that we have to earn our future,” said Gatto, who remains creative director of the brand. His son, Umberto Gatto took on the role of chief executive officer of Corso Italia SpA.
“The goal is to make a strong comeback in Italy and then start expanding abroad,” said Gatto, pointing at Japan, Korea and the United States as the most appealing markets for the brand. “When we are solid there, we will start thinking about entering China.”
The designer also highlighted that a major focus will be put on the women’s line, which until two seasons ago accounted for only 15 percent of the brand’s business. “It now accounts for about 50 percent and the potential is really big,” he said.
The brand, which is currently sold in 200 points of sales in Italy and 100 international doors, lists wholesale prices ranging from 100 euros, or $114, to 250 euros, or $285, for the men’s line and from 100 euros, or $114, to 300 euros, or $342, for the women’s collections.
Along with presenting a women’s capsule collection with Italian illustrator Olimpia Zagnoli during Milan Fashion Week in September, the label will also introduce a special collection entirely produced in Scotland. “This will highlight the most original DNA of the brand,” Gatto said.