Gucci red Soho Disco shoulder bag.
MILAN — Kering revealed on Thursday it plans to set up a laboratory dedicated to the fashion pipeline.
Called TIL (Test & Innovation Laboratory) and to be based in Prato, Tuscany,  it will provide chemical, physical and biological tests on finished and semi-finished products as well as raw materials for the apparel, leather goods, footwear, watches, jewelry and eyewear categories.
TIL is expected to be operative in the first half of 2021.

This is the first such initiative for Kering, which is saving an existing jewel in the crown in the town of Prato, a textile and clothing manufacturer hub.

Previously called Buzzilab, it was a public institution that closed last year, and Kering will hire a number of its chemists and specialized workers.

The project is part of a strategy to develop chemical testing in the long-term, as Kering will be able to have a dedicated structure that will be controlled and managed directly, stated the the French luxury group company. TIL will also allow Kering to further the implementation of its sustainability goals.

Kering was in the past a client of Buzzilab and the plan is to allow brands and companies inside and outside the group to also have access to TIL’s services.

The project is yet another tangible sign of the luxury group’s interest in consolidating its presence and investing in Italy to develop its brands.

Gucci inaugurated ArtLab, its first leather goods and shoe industrial complex, in April 2018, based in Scandicci, outside Florence. The site covers almost 400,000 square feet. President and chief executive officer Marco Bizzarri at the time said the complex was “the biggest industrial investment in the history of Gucci.”

ArtLab integrates all the different phases of the pipeline, ranging from the making of prototypes for all leather goods and men’s and women’s shoes; research and development, or the testing of the durability of materials, for example.

As reported, Kering plans to set up a new Atelier Maroquinerie Yves Saint Laurent in Scandicci, outside Florence finalizing in January the contract to lease a complex in the town.

Called Palazzo delle Finanze, it comprises two buildings covering around 309,960 square feet and is expected to be delivered to the brand in September 2022.

The buildings will house the industrial activities of the brand, ranging from the development of prototypes to the production of accessories and the training of new professional figures.