FRANKIE MORELLO PAUSED: The coronavirus pandemic is putting Frankie Morello’s activities on hold.
“We have decided to suspend the production of the brand’s fall 2020 collection,” Stefano Di Nezza, general manager of FMM Srl, the company that operates the Frankie Morello label, told WWD. Di Nezza explained that the choice made a year ago to change almost all of the brand’s distribution network, aiming at more selective points of sale to raise the positioning of the label, “backfired at this particular moment as wholesalers are now worried to test a new project.” Di Nezza said he was proud of the brand’s new “best clients in Europe, Eastern Europe and the Middle East,” naming Selfridges as one example, but admitted that the cancellation of the fall orders left the company with no choice but to hit the pause button.
Damir Doma, who was appointed artistic director of the brand last June, “is on standby,” said Di Nezza, and willing to return to his role in what the executive hopes will be a restart for spring 2021.
Frankie Morello produces men’s and women’s collections and the former was fully unveiled with a coed show during February’s Milan Fashion Week.
Frankie Morello’s first flagship opened in January on Milan’s Via Verri, covering two levels and 3,013 square feet and is expected to continue to operate. “It was the first of five that we meant to open in London, Paris, Shanghai and Moscow. However, we’ll see how the market evolves as we study alternative business models that could respond to the market needs and its changes, such as the online channel, for example,” Di Nezza said.
Founded in 1999 by Maurizio Modica and Pierfrancesco Gigliotti, Frankie Morello was acquired in 2016 by FFM Srl controlled by Italian entrepreneur Angela Ammaturo. The group operates a number of diversified businesses, including petrol, but Di Nezza said it plans to continue to back Frankie Morello.