LONDON — What’s lighter than a jacket, but weightier than a shirt?

This story first appeared in the November 12, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Brioni has asked students at the Royal College of Art to solve that sartorial riddle by re-creating the camigiacca, or shirt jacket, as part of an ongoing collaboration between the Roman brand and the London institution.

“We looked in our archives and found about 70 different camigiacche, and I thought we could challenge the students to update it,” said Antonella De Simone, the brand’s communication manager, at a recent luncheon here.

As part of the partnership, Brioni sends one of its master tailors to London to teach alongside the RCA professors and tutors, while students spend a week working at Brioni’s tailoring academy in Penne, in the central Italian region of Abruzzo. Brioni also sponsors a prize at the end of each academic year for the student who best interprets a classic Brioni design.

Meanwhile, Brioni’s chairman and chief executive officer, Andrea Perrone, told WWD that, while he’s hoping for a good fourth quarter, he’s expecting sales to be down year-over-year in 2009.

“My expectation for 2010 is an increase of the business in Middle and Far East, as well as in Europe. Brioni already has plans to open in Spain, Germany, Dubai and China,” he said.

Perrone said in 2007, Brioni began shifting business from the “traditional Western countries” — the U.S. had been its primary market until last year — to emerging markets such as China, India and the Far East. He said that “2010 will be the first year where we will see the results of this commercial strategy, which guarantees Brioni a global balance in the market.”

He added the brand was seeing strong growth in sportswear, accessories and women’s wear, in addition to the core tailored category.

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