MILAN — With a new general manager, a new children’s line, investments in the accessories category and the revamp of its Ermanno collection, Ermanno Scervino is implementing a new business development strategy.
The Florence-based fashion group has appointed Sofia Ciucchi as general manager, a role she takes on after six months as executive board member. She reports directly to chairman and chief executive officer Toni Scervino.
The brand leverages Ciucchi’s experience in accessories, as she worked for 20 years at Salvatore Ferragamo, rising to the role of deputy general manager and, in the past three years, she was ceo of storied leather goods label Il Bisonte, relaunching it with English private equity fund Palamon.
“We have redefined the strategic priorities and development lines in terms of products and markets,” said Toni Scervino. “Despite the COVID-19, we have reinforced merchandising and style for the product categories we want to increase, primarily knitwear and accessories. In these days, we are also integrating the sales and marketing team, with a particular focus on digital contents and projects.”
Ciucchi said her arrival reflects Toni and designer Ermanno Scervino’s wish to create a more managerial structure for the company for “a more structured business project.” She said she was impressed by the “extraordinary patrimony and skills of the artisans” at the company, where ready-to-wear accounts for 95 percent of sales. The company closed 2019 with revenues of more than 80 million euros.
“We have huge opportunities with handbags and shoes and we can rely on Ermanno’s own experience,” said Ciucchi, remembering how the designer in the Eighties, operating under the Ermanno Daelli brand, had a successful leather goods business. The brand will focus on bags starting with a marketing initiative this summer, followed by shoes.
The next resort 2021 collection is scheduled for early July, and the presentation will take place in both a physical and virtual showroom in Milan. “We want to at least try,” said Ciucchi, adding that video materials will also be provided, with careful attention to details, “as if we needed to sell online, but at the same time we don’t want to give up on a physical installation — clothes must be seen and touched.”
As for the spring 2021 main collection, it will be presented in September, in a format to be defined. Ciucchi said the brand will skip a men’s season to focus on its core women’s business.
The revisited Ermanno line will also be presented that month. The line was launched in 2015, but it is now being rejuvenated, “for a more daily, easy use.”
In July, the company will also present the lingerie and beachwear collection.
Ciucchi added that a kids line will be unveiled for spring 2021 under a licensing agreement with Gimel.
Knitwear is also a focus for the brand.
Ermanno Scervino counts 12 directly operated stores and 40 franchised doors in Asia and Europe. Italy and Russia are two of the main markets for the brand, but Ciucchi said it has been performing well in China, where there are six stores. “We have seen positive signals over the past two months,” she noted, despite the coronavirus impact.
There are 500 wholesale points of sale, including about 200 for the Ermanno line.