MIRROR IMAGE: Cesare Paciotti has a new advertising campaign that is returning it to its provocative past.

The campaign, produced with New York advertising firm A&R Media and shot by Mario Sorrenti, features scantily dressed models on their backs, with their well-heeled feet raised in the air in front of a mirror. It launches this month in August issues of publications like W, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Marie Claire and Interview.

“Our idea for this campaign was to reinforce our previously strong sensual image, which in some markets could be a risk, but we feel confident to take that risk now more than ever, since we have been very successful with coordinating it with style,” said Matteo Cecarini, Cesare Paciotti’s first chief executive officer in North America, who plans to use the campaign to raise the brand’s U.S. profile.

Cecarini said the Milan accessories firm, known for its pointed-dagger logo and equally sharp stilettos, is upping its media buy here by 45 percent compared with last fall. It will be the firm’s largest media buy in the U.S. The company spends $2.5 million worldwide on advertising. Last year, the U.S. market took 15 percent of that amount. This year it will be about 22 percent.

“So far, the company has focused primarily on the European market,” said Cecarini, who took on his role in January. “Now the U.S. will be a big priority.”

POMELLATO’S NEW CHIEF: Guglielmo Melegari was named chairman and ceo of Pomellato USA, a new post for the upscale Italian jewelry firm.

The 42-year-old Melegari, who spent the last 10 years running Max Mara USA, will handle Pomellato’s growth in North America and the Caribbean. Melegari’s appointment crowns a strong year for Pomellato in the U.S., where the firm saw a 28.2 percent sales increase in 2005.

“Melegari’s entrance will allow us to make the quality jump that the U.S. market requires,” said Francesco Minoli, chairman and ceo at Pomellato.

Minoli added that Pomellato’s short-term strategy is to open its first store in New York by mid-October and to boost its current 15 points-of-sale.

This story first appeared in the July 17, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“We also want to implement our relationship with the jewelry stores and with the department stores that carry our product,” Minoli said.

The brand’s medium-term growth is anchored on the openings of about four new outposts on both the East and West Coasts.

In 2005, Pomellato’s consolidated sales rose 12.5 percent to $125.5 million as net profit jumped 55.8 percent to $16.1 million.

THE LEGEND LIVES: Another celebrity will be putting his name on accessories, although this time it will be from the beyond. The Jimi Hendrix Collection will be unveiled to buyers this week at the Project show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Hendrix died in 1970.

The collection will kick off with an assortment of bags and wallets, but other items like jewelry, belts and scarves may be added soon. The collection is a collaboration between Janie Hendrix, Jimi Hendrix’s stepsister and the executor of his estate; designer Gina Alexander, and photographer Robert M. Knight.

“Jimi has an array of fans of different ages and different interests that want more than T-shirts,” said Janie Hendrix. “He was a fashion icon. And we are using his style to inspire the bags.”

The collection, which is to hit stores this fall, will be divided into two price ranges. Wholesale prices for the juniors line, which uses synthetic materials and features Sixties-inspired prints and images of Jimi Hendrix, will be $22 to $48. That line is being targeted to Urban Outfitters, music stores such as Virgin Records and music museums. The higher-priced line has a wholesale range of $140 to $280 and is designed with finer materials and features Jimi Hendrix lyrics, images and drawings from his estate. It will be targeted toward specialty boutiques.

BLACK BEAUTY: Givenchy has come up with a shimmering Art Deco-inspired cocktail clutch, designed by Riccardo Tisci, for the second edition of its annual Black Box series of limited-edition accessories. The clutch is hand-embroidered with snaking lines of flat pink-gold chains and is lined with ivory satin. The 200 bags, priced at $2,400 each and presented in a little black box, will be released at the end of October in Givenchy stores worldwide.

PRADA NAMING RIGHTS: When Miuccia Prada decided to call her top Miu Miu bag for fall the Coffer, little did she know how appropriate the name would be.

In just over two weeks since it hit stores, the bag has generated long waiting lists and already sits on the shoulders of such young actresses as Sienna Miller, Keira Knightley, Mischa Barton, Kate Bosworth and Maggie Gyllenhaal.

Prada based the bag’s name on its inspiration: ancient coffers and medieval saddlebags, as is evident from the matelassé workmanship in the front, a padlock fastening with exposed bolts and large woven handles. The bag retails for between $1,135 and $1,263 and is available in leather or suede.

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