MILAN — Italian label 120% Lino, which is focused on the production of men’s and women’s collections crafted from linen, is going through a re-branding phase aimed at boosting the company’s international business.
Founded in the Eighties by Italian entrepreneur Alberto Peretto, 120% Lino was acquired this fall by private equity Made in Italy Fund, which holds 70 percent of the brand. The remaining 30 percent is still in the hands of Peretto, who also oversees the label’s creative team.
“We decided to acquire 120% Lino because we were intrigued by the fact that it is deeply focused on a single material,” said 120% Lino chief executive officer Mauro Grange, who is among the partners of Made in Italy Fund, a private equity controlled by Q Group and Pambianco. “We also appreciated that the brand was already well-positioned on the international markets with its own retail network.”
Distributed in the affordable luxury segment, 120% Lino already operates two stores in Milan and five stores in Florida. “In the U.S., which accounts for 40 percent of the company’s business, the brand is extremely well-positioned and its perception is very high.”
According to Grange, the U.S. will continue to be a point of reference for the brand, which expects to open 20 stores in the Sun Belt region in the next four years, when 120% Lino will debut five additional stores in Europe with a focus on Southern France and Spain.
The company will also develop agreements with local partners to expand its presence in South America, Japan and South Korea, while a directly operated hub is expected to be inaugurated in Singapore to manage the Asia-Pacific market.
With the goal of generating revenues of 40 million euros in four years, 120% Lino, which is closing 2018 with a turnover of 13 million euros and an EBITDA margin of 18 percent, will make several investments in communication and reinforce its design team in order to present an updated style with the spring 2020 collection.
“The goal is to transform 120% Lino from a company offering high-quality and practical products to a real appealing brand,” said Grange, who also revealed that the brand will expand its product offering with a focus on linen home accessories.
“Ninety percent of our products have to be made in linen, that’s our specialty, along with our outstanding garment dyeing techniques,” said Grange, who decided to restrict the selection of linen fibers only to European suppliers.
Asked about the online business, Grange said the company will debut an online store only in 2020. “It’s not a priority now and I think that it will never account for more than between 5 and 7 percent of our sales,” he explained.