MILAN — Over the past months Italy’s fashion companies, small and big, have been vocal about the need to preserve the country’s pipeline to ease restart once the COVID-19-related restrictions are over.
With lockdown now eased throughout the country, Como, Italy-based textile maker Colombo Group is pressing on debuting a new division and label as part of its offer.
Named Progetto 62, in a nod to the year the company was founded by husband and wife Piero and Anita Colombo, the new line is aimed at injecting a dash of innovation and contemporary edge to the company’s offer, which already counts the Colombo, its Area and Mario Boselli Jersey lines.
Although the textile maker already generates the bulk of its revenues from the luxury segment, the new label — which is making its debut with the fall 2021 collection — will further stress that vocation, by targeting luxury companies only.
“The strategic thinking behind the project is to stress our commitment toward the luxury sector banking on the manufacturing know-how of the company,” said Massimo Colombo, the company’s chief executive officer. He added the company plans to implement a streamlined distribution for the new line tapping into a number of selected clients.
Progetto 62 pivots around the pillars of creativity, innovation and sustainability. The last one, Colombo said, is increasingly taken into account by fashion brands and end consumers, pushing the textile maker to implement a range of initiatives across its entire supply chain.
While already boasting the Global Organic Textile Standard certification and working to secure the Forest Stewardship Council approval on the traceability of its fabrics, the company’s ceo said that Progetto 62 will take the green efforts to the next level by including a range of repurposed yarns deadstock fabrics.
The company has conscripted Arman Avetikyan, a young designer with stints at Giorgio Armani, Oakley and Massimo Piombo, to conceive a new style for the line. “Arman has a very different experience from us as he comes from brands, so he was the right fit for this project,” said Colombo. As part of his tasks, Avetikyan will nurture collaborations with young designers, artisans and international fashion schools to add currency to the fabrics the firm develops.
For the fall 2021 collection, he said he delved deep into the company’s archives, retrieving silk fabrics done in signature nuances such as peacock blue and ecru, in an attempt to deliver a distinctive and recognizable style for the project.
Comprising five categories and around 100 different styles, the fabrics under the Progetto 62 moniker are crafted from silk and viscose, as well as wool. Avetikyan noted the innovative bent of the collection, yet to be fully developed, will entail performance-driven fabrics and high-tech treatments.
Colombo added that in sync with Made in Italy companies’ demand for personalization, the company will produce seasonal collections but it will also offer custom-made fabrics.
In 2019, the Colombo Group generated revenues of 6.5 million euros and the executive said he had predicted a modest increase in 2020 before COVID-19 scuppered the industry. Orders for the fall 2020 season were not impacted by the pandemic, while spring 2021 experienced a sales contraction of 40 percent compared with the same season a year earlier.
The group is looking with hope at 2021 when it aims to post sales of 8 million euros, driven in part by the new line, which has the potential to strengthen the whole company’s image, Colombo said.