MILAN — Valextra SpA has a new partner that will help expand the brand and launch an initial public offering down the road. The Italian luxury accessories company said Friday that London-based investment firm NEO Capital has taken a stake in Valextra through a capital increase. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.
Former Bally chairman and chief executive officer Marco Franchini has been tapped as Valextra’s ceo. The sale and appointment confirm earlier WWD reports.
Chairman Emanuele Carminati Molina will continue in that role, and his nephew Marco Scarpella will remain a member of the board.
Touting Valextra’s “highest international recognition” as “the finest expression of Italian craftsmanship,” Carminati Molina said the company was “now ready for a new phase of growth, partnering with NEO and to become one of the leading players in the luxury leather industry, qualifying for a possible IPO in the future.”
An enthusiastic Franchini described Valextra as “a fantastic brand with a unique heritage.”
After seven years, Franchini left Bally in spring 2009 after orchestrating a major overhaul, tapping Brian Atwood as creative director and returning the company to the black.
Prior to Bally, he was Gucci’s general manager for Europe for eight years in the late Nineties. “For the last 20 years I have been working in the luxury arena, and I am honored to put forth my experience towards such a prestigious and luxurious brand,” said Franchini.
NEO Capital has investments in companies including Alain Mikli, Ladurée, Vuarnet, Obikà and Miller Harris.
Founding partner David Belhassen said the firm plans to “continue Valextra’s international development,” defining the brand as “sophisticated and refined,” leveraging on “heritage and a tradition of quality, luxury and innovation, which has been preserved through the years.”
The Italian company last year had revenues of 13.5 million euros, or $17.3 million at average exchange.
The label dates back to 1937, when Giovanni Fontana opened the first Valextra boutique in Milan’s Piazza San Babila.
Valextra has a flagship in Milan, opened in 2004 and housed in a stately five-story palazzo on Via Manzoni; six stores in Japan, and five in Korea. The brand is exclusively distributed by Barneys New York in the U.S., Le Bon Marché in Paris and Selfridges in London, in addition to 11 other retailers in Europe.
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)
Discovery is collaborating with British pop artist @philipcolbert on a new line of clothing and accessories called Discovery Shark. The collection, which will launch next summer for Shark Week’s 30th anniversary, features a whimsical line of women’s and men’s bomber jackets, sweatshirts, bags and more. #wwdfashion
“I’m always a big champion of a female rapper, and I’m glad to see a new voice that feels unique and authentic that’s coming up, and I think we’re going to see more great things from her,” said @itsjeremyscott about @iamcardib, who performed at @moschino’s Art Basel Miami Beach party last night. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
@janellemonae’s “What’s Your Frequency?” room in @refinery29's #29Rooms made its debut this week at the opening of the Los Angeles art exhibit. “It’s about the ongoing conversation around mass surveillance, the weaponization of technology and cultural uniformity. My space was created so that we can come together and talk about the complexities of our humanity,” said Monáe. #wwdeye (📷: @bucknerphoto)
@pantone announced their Color of the Year 2018: Ultra Violet. Nearly 20 months after the musician Prince’s death, fashion is having a purple moment. Varying shades of purple appeared on spring or fall runways, from @christopherkane to @calvinklein. @gucci’s Alessandro Michele bathed his fall runway in ultra violet-colored light at one point. Pantone 18-3838 is meant to “push the boundaries of what inspires us to look upward and outward to the future.” #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)