MILAN — Italian luxury sportswear label Jeckerson presented its new business plan here on Wednesday.
The brand’s chief executive officer Gian Maria Argentini said the company has overcome its financial troubles after filing a petition for composition with creditors at the end of 2015, due to a debt of 90 million euros, or $100.7 million at current exchange.
To revamp its appeal and enhance its heritage, Jeckerson will center the next phase of its business on its signature pants with patches. Such elements will be reinterpreted in different ways thanks to a series of partnerships with artists, as part of the “Follow the Patch” project. The project also aims to attract a younger audience and expand Jeckerson’s usual target, set around customers aged 45.
First up is the collaboration with two calligraphers, Daniele Tozzi and Luca Barcellona, who customized the patches and a range of T-shirts with taglines such as “Not ordinary people” and “Don’t go gentle.” A series of in-store activities in Milan, Rome and Turin celebrated the launch of the limited-edition collection, which retails at a higher price range than Jeckerson’s average, with pants reaching 230 euros, or $257, compared to the usual price of 180 euros, or $202.
The concept will be reprised in the women’s fall collection, which is designed by the Gallieri Venneri firm. Men’s collections are designed by Studio Mauro Ravizza Krieger.
Product-wise, Argentini said the goal is not to create a total look but to put the patched pants at the core of each collection and flank them with coordinated products. In order to do so, he hinted at the addition of other licensing agreements to the existing ones with Casillo for kids’ apparel and Canepa for swimwear. “We’re considering different options, from footwear to underwear,” Argentini said.
The executive also explained how omnichannel is on the company’s agenda and how “5 to 7 percent” of Jeckerson’s sales will be channeled in marketing and communication activities, spanning from advertising to social media implementation, from product placements in movie productions to in-store events.
In 2016, Jeckerson sales totaled 30 million euros, or $33.7 million. Argentini predicts 2017 to end flat while he revealed the company’s long-term goal is “to exceed sales of 40 million euros [or $45 million] by 2020.”
The company currently has 36 stand-alone stores in Italy and plans to renovate their interiors, starting with Milan’s flagship in central Corso Matteotti, which Argentini defined as pivotal because of its visibility. Remodeling works are set to start in August. There are no plans to open additional stores at the moment.
Jeckerson’s best-performing stores in Italy are in Milan and in Rome, and the country, the brand’s main market, will remain its primary focus.
Argentini explained how the company had worked with 15 specialty stores in the U.S., distributing mainly its signature pants, and the results were encouraging. “[The U.S.] is a market we have to be in…but it’s also very complicated,” he said, underscoring how the kind of fits and distribution are very different from Italy.
Founded in 1995 by the Chionna brothers, the Bologna-based label was acquired by the private equity fund Stirling Square Capital Partners in 2008.
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