MILAN — Dondup is investing in a new digital strategy by launching its online store and a new editorial project called D360.
The Italian brand’s e-store is available in Italian and English and covers the European Economic Community, the U.S., the U.K. and Russia. Starting with the offer of the fall collection, the site will also sell capsule collections completing the brand’s product range.
“This is a comprehensive project that will step up our international exposure, both in terms of perception of the brand and distribution,” explained president Matteo Marzotto, who has over the past 10 months has worked on the organization, structure and timing of the collections with chief executive officer Marco Casoni.
D360 aims to transmit the label’s identity and covers topics from style, culture and travel to points of view and well-being. Under travel, the suggestions range from most romantic restaurants in Chicago to the best places to surf in Europe. There are articles on Pharrell Williams or Lebron James, for example; editors’ picks on “the best exercises to tone your arms” or suggestions on best books and museums. A selection of “creators” will be called upon to share their point of view on different issues, mapping out “what they think is the Dondup world,” said Marzotto. D360 will contribute to the strategy of rendering Dondup “more contemporary, and easier to communicate abroad,” he observed. “The aesthetic value and tone is consistent with the standard of the new Dondup project. In a hyper-competitive market, Dondup has only partially communicated its strengths but the new digital tools allow to correct this. Our social media was not developed but this is a must, to talk about the modernization of a brand that has always worked to be special.”
As reported in June, Dondup is expanding its core denim collection through a collaboration with Adriano Goldschmied starting from the fall 2018 season with the goal to further strengthen the brand’s denim category with the veteran expert. “He is doing a wonderful job and he is finding the know-how in the company,” remarked Marzotto. In women’s wear, starting with the resort 2018 collection, the company will work with Mirko Fontana and Diego Marquez, the designers behind the Au Jour Le Jour brand, while the men’s collection will be designed by Ivan Tafuro.
“We want to attract and develop interesting collaborations while remaining strong and up-to-date with our in-house creative team,” said Marzotto. “The collaborations are in support of our internal team and in line with our collections. Capsules must serve the market and not be dedicated to one channel or the other.”
Foreign markets account for between 25 and 27 percent and Marzotto said that, in less than one year, Dondup has grown by 10 percentage points outside of Italy.
Arcadia Srl, Dondup’s parent company, in 2016 registered sales of 54 million euros. Marzotto said he expected revenues to reach 60 million euros in 2017. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization are expected to represent 26 percent of sales in 2017, up from 20 percent in 2016, boosted by the new organization and distribution model set in place by the entrepreneur and Casoni. The company has established two showrooms, in Milan and Rome, from which it directly handles sales.
Dondup cofounder and creative designer Manuela Mariotti exited the brand in March after 18 years at the helm.
The company that Mariotti founded with Massimo Berloni is controlled by L Catterton with a 91 percent stake and, in September, Marzotto, a former Valentino chairman and former co-owner of Vionnet, became its president. Stakes in Dondup were first acquired by the European arm of L Capital in 2009 and then by L Capital Asia in 2015 (L Capital is now part of L Catterton).
Dondup is based in Fossombrone, in Italy’s Marche region, and relies on a supply chain spanning from washes to finishings.
The collection is available at around 600 multibrand stores.