FIORUCCI’S NEW FORAYS

Byline: Melanie Kletter

NEW YORK — Fiorucci North America jumped into the charity circuit recently to help raise money for Camp Homeward Bound, a summer camp for homeless children.
The Dreams Into Reality Benefit event raised about $8,000 and also showcased Fiorucci’s new loft-style showroom on the 20th floor of 499 Seventh Avenue.
“This is a great charity,” said Stephen Budd, president of Fiorucci North America, who said he would like to do more charity events. “It helps so many kids, and we are really happy to help them out.”
Located in Harriman State Park in New York and founded in 1984, Camp Homeward Bound runs educational programs for homeless youth aged five to 16. This year, the camp has expanded its schedule to include year-round programs, said David Morgan, director of the camp, who spoke at the benefit.
This was the first charity event of its kind for Fiorucci, which has kept a low profile in recent years; that all may change soon, however. The firm is stepping into the limelight with a new 25,000-square-foot Fiorucci store on the corner of Broadway and Houston Street, which is scheduled to open in February 2001.
The junior sportswear and denim firm, based in Milan, is in the final stages of planning for the signature shop, Budd said. The store will be part of a larger strategy to reinvigorate the brand in the junior category.
About 20 percent of the NoHo store will consist of Fiorucci’s own label, and the rest will be other brands, many of which will be similar to resources in the existing Fiorucci stores in Italy. In addition to apparel, the store will include accessories, shoes and a home section.
The company opened a test store last spring at the Westchester Mall in White Plains, N.Y., but it closed earlier this year.
Budd said his company is now in partnership with the parent firm to develop the brand further in North America. In addition, he is also overseeing the development of a new global Web site, which is also set to launch in February.
Fiorucci now operates eight stores in Italy, including three megastores. The firm is in the process of opening 26 new units this year, along with the NoHo site, according to Budd.
In addition to running Fiorucci North America, Budd also heads BKR Apparel, which operates Moe Clothing, a denim-driven brand sold primarily in specialty stores, as well as a private-label business.

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