ROMEO GIGLI TO UNVEIL NEW JEANS LINE FOR ’96

Byline: Sara Gay Forden

MILAN — Romeo Gigli will launch a new jeans line. It will be called Blue Gigli Jeans and will be produced by Italian manufacturer Italiana Manifatture. It will bow with the spring/summer 1996 collection.
“This is the sign of the complete evolution of Gigli’s work,” said Antonio Coppola, the designer’s general director, during an interview in his Milan offices. “Clearly, the first line is the tip of the diamond; then there’s the younger line, G Gigli, which has come into its own. The jeans line is something Gigli has wanted to do for a long time. He has always wanted to offer something more in apparel for young people.”
Coppola noted that the contract with Italiana Manifatture, which also produces jeans lines for Valentino and Gianfranco FerrA, calls for a baseline revenue of $19 million (30 billion lire) in the first year, but said he expects the line to perform even higher.
Sante Castelletti, owner and chairman of Italiana Manifatture, said he expects volume to reach $94 million (155 billion lire) in five years. The life of the contract is five years, with the option to renew for an additional five.
The jeans line, which is to be a total-look collection using denim as well as other fabrics, will be distributed in Gigli’s second-line stores, G Gigli, as well 1,500 other stores around the world.
“Of course, we’ll have our five-pocket jean, but there will be a lot more to chose from,” Coppola explained. He added that the house of Gigli, which has been restructured under a new parent company called Giona Srl that is directly owned by Romeo Gigli, is expanding its international network of Romeo Gigli and G Gigli stores.
There are currently 26 Romeo Gigli first-line stores, including 15 in Japan. Gigli is looking for space to open a second boutique in Milan in addition to the existing one on Corso Venezia. Another Gigli boutique is set to open in Bangkok in April, and one in Jakarta, Indonesia, in September, Coppola said.
G Gigli, which is produced under license by Interfashion, a manufacturing company in the Stefanel group, is also expanding its retail network, Coppola added. There are currently 51 G Gigli boutiques, including 40 in Japan, three in the Far East and five in Europe. A G Gigli shop is about to open in Anversa, The Netherlands, and plans are under way for shops in Paris and New York.