MILAN — Gucci has established a joint venture with leather goods firm Arte & Pelle, one of its historical suppliers.
Gucci holds a 51 percent stake in the new company, called GARPE — Gucci Arte & Pelle. Virgilio Brogi, founder and director of Arte & Pelle, retains the remaining shares. The company has been working for Gucci since 1995.
“Protecting and strengthening the supplier network and making it valuable and healthy means building solid relationships with best-in-class companies,” said Patrizio di Marco, president and chief executive officer of Gucci. “An effective supplier network is a beneficial asset for many actors involved: Gucci, other companies, and the territory.”
Under Di Marco’s management, Gucci has been touting craftsmanship and Made in Italy quality.
Founded in 1978, Arte & Pelle stands in neighboring Piancastagnaio, near the Tuscan town of Siena. The firm, with sales of 8 million euros, or $11.2 million at current exchange, is focused on the production of handbags. It counts 40 direct employees and a network of 18 suppliers, for a total of 120 people working indirectly for the company.
This is the third such venture for Gucci. In November, the company joined forces with Pelletteria Annalisa, creating a new company called GPA, Gucci Pelletteria Annalisa. In this case, too, Gucci owns 51 percent of the holding. Pelletteria Annalisa is also located in Tuscany, in the town of Figline Valdarno, near Florence, and produces belts, bags and luggage.
The first venture was set up in November 2009 with Toscoval Srl, a Gucci supplier since 1973, which originated a new company called GT Srl, which produces handbags and luggage.