PITTI AHOY: Robert Polet, formerly Gucci Group’s chief executive officer, made an appearance at Pitti Uomo on Wednesday, where North Sails officially re-launched its sea sports-inspired apparel business.
An avid sailor, Polet took a minority stake in the Rapallo, Italy-based company on Jan. 1. “Never mind me, I’m on vacation,” he joked, before launching into a spiel about the sport and its potential in fashion.
“Research shows that people perceive sailing as the third most aspirational sport in the world, which means they wish they either owned a boat or were part of that universe. There is a big market for it, especially in the United States, where people really understand its heritage and lifestyle,” he noted.
With fresh financial backing from Oakley Capital, North Sail presented three new lines at Pitti: “The Black line, which is premium, the Deep Blue line, which is more conservative but with a twist, and the Ocean Blue line based on denim,” explained the brand’s ceo Eric Bijlsma, who joined the company from Scotch & Soda in September 2014 and became its majority shareholder along with Oakley, who invested at the same time.