MILAN — Missoni has selected Italian manufacturing company Gilmar SpA as a production partner for its bridge M Missoni line, following the expiration of the licensing agreement with Valentino Fashion Group. “We see a lot of opportunities for the brand,” creative director Angela Missoni told WWD.
The license for the M Missoni label, which was launched in 1953, was originally signed in 2005. In January 2009, Missoni and VFG renewed their licensing agreement for another 10 years, with the goal to further develop the brand.
Gilmar, owned by the Gerani family, produces its own Iceberg line, designed by James Long, and it has a 30 percent minority stake in 2112 Srl, the company operating the No. 21 label, founded and designed by Alessandro Dell’Acqua.
“Gilmar has an excellent level of quality and deliveries, it is used to managing brands with a different positioning, and has a solid knitwear experience,” explained Missoni, noting that an M Missoni showroom will open in Milan.
The first collection will bow for spring 2019.
Internalizing the brand will allow a more “clear differentiation” in terms of style and positioning of the line, said Missoni, a more efficient coordination of strategies and communication and of synergies in different markets, driving profitability.
The brand generates sales of around 50 million euros. The plan is to further develop the wholesale channel, which today counts 700 wholesale doors. At the same time, Missoni will open four to five stores in the next two years, reopening in 2019 the banner in Hong Kong; in Milan, which first opened in 2009 and is closing now, and in New York, which were operated by VFG. Missoni is also investing in a new, direct and dedicated e-store.
“The Far East region is underdeveloped, so there is a lot of potential in that area, in China, for example,” she said, noting that the U.S. and Europe are the brand’s main markets. “Also, I want to expand the offer with bags and small leather goods.”
“We have 65 years of iconic designs and I think I can develop them more with M Missoni. On the signature line, I rein this in a bit, because I focus on change, there is a bigger evolution on graphics on the signature line,” explained Missoni.