MILAN — Brama Group, the European distributor of brands including J Brand and Equipment, is launching its first women’s knitwear label. Named Fine Edge, it is designed by a creative team based in the U.S. and produced in Italy with local yarns.
The high-end line is set to complement the wide portfolio of American contemporary fashion brands the Italian group distributes in Europe, which also include Current/Elliott, James Perse and Opening Ceremony, among others.
“Brama is renowned for its distributive activity but our core business has always been knitwear production,” said Brama Group’s chief executive officer Renzo Braglia, recalling how the family business founded in Modena in 1956 started as knitwear factory. Braglia underscored how this project, which began in May, combines the company’s expertise in knitwear with its skills in European distribution and deep knowledge of international markets, especially the American region.
The U.S. remain a primary target for the executive, who is relying on two main elements for Fine Edge’s success in the region. “We have 100 percent Made in Italy qualified yarns and craftsmanship, which Americans love, and the current strength of the dollar by our side, which will make the products even more economically convenient for the American market,” he said.
With prices ranging from 380 euros to 600 euros, or $400 to $632 at current exchange rates, the line will also be distributed in select multibrand stores in Europe which are part of Brama Group’s network of partners, in addition to Russia and the Middle East.
“For the first year, the goal is to work with 150 retailers in Europe, and then to gradually grow in the following years,” said Braglia, underscoring how Northern Europe is a key region for this product category. “We want to continue our partnership with our existing clients[…]and integrate our offer with a contemporary premium product that we hadn’t before,” he concluded.
Fine Edge’s pre-fall 2017 collection will debut during men’s Paris Fashion Week, running Jan. 18-22, at Brama’s showroom in the French capital. Then it will be presented at the other fashion weeks across Europe, before landing in the U.S. in mid-February. Inspired by a boho-chic style, the collection offers oversized knitwear garments, infused with an effortless attitude and edgy elements, including frayed rims, bell sleeves and fringes.
Braglia identified Fine Edge’s target customers as “’Sex & the City’ kind of women, aged ranging 25 to 55, who have a common vision of fashion and a very active social and work life.”
The pre-fall 2017 line will hit stores starting from next June, while there will be four different collections presented during the year. “This is new in the world of knitwear, but we have assimilated the American calendar over the years, which includes four seasons instead of the two presented in Europe,” explained Braglia, highlighting how this timing also reduces the gap between presentations and availability in stores and enables it to better respond to market demands.
Registering sales of 50 million euros, or $52.6 million, in 2016, the group is not expected to make other additions to its portfolio until at least the second half. “We don’t have any rush to change because we already have the best out there,” Braglia said.