Giambattista Tirelli, Mauro Grifoni, Federico Zannini

MILAN A duo of Italian fashion entrepreneurs is re-launching the men’s and women’s ready-to-wear brand Grifoni .

Federico Zannini, the owner of Market Industries SpA, which operates the Jucca, Suoli and Tessa labels, and Giambattista Tirelli, founder of Olmar & Mirta, which controls the Getryportofino, Uma Wang and Fisico brands, a year ago acquired the financially struggling Grifoni company for 5 million euros.

The operation was conducted trough Strong Srl, which is equally controlled by Zannini and Tirelli.

“Giambattista and myself are longtime friends and we have always said we wanted to do something together,” said Zannini, who is Grifoni’s chief executive officer, while Tirelli, who also owns a stake in the Rick Owens brand, is president. “When we found out that Grifoni was facing several problems, we decided to invest in the label.”

Following the acquisition, Zannini and Tirelli asked the brand’s founder, Mauro Grifoni, who exited the company in 2012, to reassume the creative reins of the firm, which is positioned in the premium segment of the luxury market.

In a move aimed at recapturing the brand’s visibility, the management team opened a flagship on Milan’s Via Ponte Vetero in the Brera district and reorganized the distribution, which is directly controlled by a showroom here.

The Grifoni store in Milan

The Grifoni store in MilanCourtesy Photo

“We have the right products, company culture and skills to reaffirm the brand on the international scene,” said Zannini, who expects Grifoni to generate revenues of 25 million euros in five years. The brand, which is distributed in about 250 high-end stores, is ending 2017 with revenues of 5 million euros.

In addition, Zannini said the company is focused on expanding the presence of Grifoni internationally, which accounts for 20 percent of total sales. “We forecast to have the international business accounting for 50 percent in five years,” he said.

Europe and Japan, where Grifoni collections are available in six points of sale, are the most appealing markets for the brand.

“My intent is to reinforce the creative idea which has always been behind the brand, also revamping it with the influences coming from the contemporary world,” said Grifoni, who highlighted that the brand is one label where revenues are equally split between men’s and women’s. “I think that our strength is that we have always had a strong identity for both the men’s and women’s lines and this is something which we really want to maintain.”

Grifoni will unveil its fall 2018 collection with a presentation during Milan Men’s Fashion Week in January.