Emilio Pucci, which has made a variety of fashion statements under a slew of prominent designers, is to return to its roots as a resort-focused brand, WWD has learned.
As a result, the Italian fashion house is reorganizing the workforce at its Milan headquarters and Bologna production site to match the new design and business approach. It is understood the company has held extensive discussions with unions in recent weeks, and a few dozen positions could be impacted.
In a statement provided exclusively to WWD, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, which assumed majority control of the brand in 2000, confirmed the repositioning plan.
“Pucci has decided to evolve to adapt to the situation. This reorganization will allow Pucci to reshape its production facilities — in line with its strategic and creative shift — as well as its distribution network, to focus on best locations and to accelerate on e-commerce,” it said. “In this context, serene negotiations have been held with the employees and their representatives in an atmosphere of dialogue, openness and goodwill. This resulted in a robust agreement for both parties. Everyone is now focused on this new era for Pucci to achieve a creative and inspirational brand with a resort spirit and to bring the brand back on the path to success.”
Market sources said LVMH had been planning the resort reboot before the coronavirus crisis, but the pandemic accelerated the repositioning effort.
In tandem with the employee reorganization, Pucci let leases expire in high-rent metropolitan cities, and locations have closed on Madison Avenue in New York and Via Montenapoleone in Milan, the latter reverting to the leaseholder Loro Piana, also controlled by LVMH. In Paris, a temporary boutique on Boulevard Saint-Germain also recently shuttered for good.
Meanwhile, it is understood that sales at Pucci boutiques in resort locations have been roaring ahead. These include Saint-Tropez in France, Palm Beach and Miami in the U.S., and Portofino and Capri in Italy. The brand is also popular in Russia and the Middle East, where it boasts boutiques in Dubai and Doha, Qatar.
A Pucci boutique also opened recently in São Paulo, Brazil, and it is understood management is now eyeing winter resort locations like Courcheval in France and St. Moritz in Switzerland. Pop-ups are likely to be part of the distribution plan going forward.
Considered one of Italy’s fashion pioneers in outfitting the jet set, Emilio Pucci began designing skiwear out of jersey fabrics in 1947 and opened his house in 1949. His colorful, graphic motifs on silk jersey quickly became the signature of the house and were originally derived from Renaissance and local Italian art.
The company is to retool given the future focus on such holiday staples as tunics, caftans, shorts, swimwear, eyewear and beach bags, plus puffer jackets, leggings and après-ski looks for the winter.
The brand had recently experimented with guest designers, including Christelle Kocher of France and Japan’s Tomo Koizumi, and may continue with occasional collaborations, sources said.
Under LVMH, Pucci has experimented with a variety of permanent designers over the years, including Julio Espada, Christian Lacroix, Matthew Williamson, Peter Dundas and MSGM’s Massimo Giorgetti, and also studio configurations.
For fall 2021, the brand’s creative team foreshadowed the new resort orientation by showing recycled nylon ski suits, quilted bombers, silk pajamas and printed velvet shirt-jackets.