Looks from Sergio Tacchini's White Label collection.

CHIARA BONI 

Chiara Boni is making its men’s wear debut. The brand will unveil its first men’s capsule collection with a presentation at its new Florentine flagship during the Pitti Uomo show.

Called Trailblazer, the capsule consists of five signature designs, including a jacket, three shirts and a pair of pants. The essential pieces are crafted from Chiara Boni’s signature eco-friendly, anti-crease and machine washable jersey fabrics developed by Italian textile company Eurojersey.

“Trailblazer is the evolution of our core products in a men’s version,” said Chiara Boni’s chief executive officer Maurizio Germanetti. “Using our innovative performance fabrics, we created a concise wardrobe for a modern traveler, who looks for both elegance and functionality.”

Playing with raw cuts and minimalist silhouettes, Chiara Boni developed a lightweight, unlined blazer matched with classic pleated pants. The Trailblazer line includes three different shirt styles — a classic option, a slim design and a button down — all available in solids as well as sartorial patterns, including a plaid motif and micro checks.

Trailblazer by Chiara Boni

Trailblazer by Chiara Boni.  Courtesy Photo

“With the more formal segment of men’s wear going through difficult times, I think this is a smart, high-quality product that can be appealing for a wide target [audience],” said Germanetti. “This is a first test but we believe in the men’s category and we forecast to generate with men’s wear a turnover of 3 million euros in two years.”

The Trailblazer lineup will be distributed in the U.S., the brand’s biggest market, from the New York showroom, and through agents in the other countries.

Chiara Boni recently opened its fourth store, a 969-square-foot unit located at the Renaissance Loggia Rucellai in the heart of Florence.

“We have been looking for the right space in Florence for a while, also because it’s the hometown of our creative director Chiara Boni,” said Germanetti. “Even though we opened in a low season for Florence, we are very satisfied with the [initial] results.”

The brand also operates stores in Milan, Rome and Los Angeles, and is present in international department stores including Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s in the U.S. — Alessandra Turra

 

CLOSED X NIGEL CABOURN

Germany-based, Made in Italy — but with a British touch.

Indie denim contemporary brand Closed has called on seasoned British designer Nigel Cabourn to develop a men’s and women’s capsule collection that will make its debut at Pitti Uomo.

In keeping with the designer’s penchant for military uniforms, Cabourn drew inspiration from nautical attire and blended it with Closed’s workwear-inspired offering. For example, a utilitarian vibe runs through an overall crafted from denim in a dark wash while a workwear jacket in a shade of navy indigo with distressed details and flap pockets is paired with relaxed cargo pants in military green — both recurrent colors in the collection.

Til Nadler, one of the three owners of Closed, praised the collaboration, noting that “because of the two brands’ different domestic markets and their diverse international appeal, we both expect a lot from it. It’s been funny to work together.”

The capsule will hit stores in August and will be available on Closed’s e-commerce platform, select brand stores and the Cabourn flagship in London.

A look from Closed x Nigel Cabourn's fall 2020 collection.

A look from Closed x Nigel Cabourn’s fall 2020 collection.  Courtesy Photo.

After introducing women’s wear for his namesake label in 2013, Cabourn has stretched his muscles with a women’s offering to complement the Closed capsule. Subtle feminine details soften the lineup’s utilitarian vibe. Cropped khaki pants are paired with a belted checkered coat inspired by nightgowns. A buttery beige shearling coat, a byproduct of the food industry, features an exaggerated collar and comes with a contrasting belt in rusty leather.

The collaboration with Cabourn debuts a few months after Closed’s Hans Redlefsen, Til Nadler and Gordon Giers, along with private investors, bought back all shares from private investment firm Genui after a nearly five-year partnership. Started in 1978 by denim veteran François Girbaud, the family-owned Closed is based in Germany but it specializes in jeans made by hand in Italy.

Closed has 50 freestanding stores and more than 1,200 wholesale partners in 32 countries. For the past two seasons Closed has been available at Shopbop and Bergdorf Goodman, while Nordstrom will be added starting with the spring 2020 collection. Merci and Le Bon Marché in France also carry the brand. — Martino Carrera

SERGIO ROSSI 

Sergio Rossi is relaunching its men’s line, which was discontinued in 2016, at Pitti Uomo.

“Three years after the relaunch of the Sergio Rossi brand, which enabled us to rediscover the most authentic essence of the label, I felt it was time to further enrich our journey with a new challenge,” said chief executive officer Riccardo Sciutto, adding that the company had received numerous requests for its men’s shoes, particularly from Japanese clients. “So we decided to kick off this new adventure from our iconic Sr1 style, making it genderless, and creating a men’s line that is modern, strong and conceived for today’s men, who fully enjoy their passions and are innovative thinkers,” Sciutto said.

In Florence, Sergio Rossi, which first tested the men’s products in Japan, where it opened a store dedicated to the category last March at Tokyo’s Hankyu Men’s department store, is presenting a collection that translates the codes of the women’s line — but in a masculine way. Among the styles are an sr1 logo slipper, a leather slip-on, a loafer, a Chelsea boot, as well as a chunky sneaker.

Sergio Rossi sr1 men's slippers

Sergio Rossi Sr1 men’s slippers.  Courtesy Photo

“Pitti Immagine Uomo currently features an incredible creative energy with a global impact,” Sciutto said, explaining the decision to host the official men’s launch in Florence. “It was important for us to mark our return to the men’s segment in an unexpected way presenting our collection in an exclusive context, where we can fully communicate the storytelling of the brand’s new chapter.”

Starting with the fall 2020 season, the Sergio Rosso Uomo line will be available online via the brand’s e-commerce site and in a selection of the company’s most important flagships worldwide.

The fall 2020 men’s range will retail from 470 euros for slip-on sneakers to 650 euros for booties. The brand’s signature logo slippers retail for 595 euros. — Alessandra Turra

SERGIO TACCHINI

Sergio Tacchini is taking a two-pronged approach to its relaunch, presenting both a mainstream and a more-upscale offering for fall during its Pitti Uomo debut.

Last year, Dao-Yi Chow, the cofounder of Public School, was named global creative director for the Italian tennis-inspired brand. He will be bringing a sports-meets-streetwear aesthetic — a design style he has mastered during his years at Public School — into his first collection for Sergio Tacchini.

Although initial plans had called for the brand to dabble in a small offering for spring, the company opted to hold off so it could create a full collection for fall. The line consists of a higher-priced White label as well as the comprehensive main collection.

Stefano Maroni, an entrepreneur and chief executive officer of licensing firm GMI USA who bought the brand at the end of 2018 with private equity firm Twin Lakes Capital and B. Riley Principal Investments, said the brand had lost its way over the past 15 or so years. But he’s determined to change that. “Our first priority is to focus on quality and style,” he said.

Tacchini was founded by the Italian tennis star of the same name in 1966 and has changed hands several times since then. Although it continued to be sold internationally, it has not been available in the U.S. for some time. Under the new ownership, the plan is to relaunch in the U.S., reposition the brand in Europe and expand in Asia, notably Japan, where it has a partnership with Itochu that will kick off next year, Maroni said.

“We have a beautiful story to tell and we’ve appointed a very talented designer to reinterpret the brand DNA,” he said. “It’s really fresh and very authentic.”

Chow said his first order of business was to take a “deep dive” into the brand’s extensive archives and immerse himself in the product, imagery, advertising and history. Tacchini’s “strong intersection between sport and culture” is what drew him to the brand, he said, and he set out to reinterpret that for a modern man.

Chow grew up playing tennis and said his exposure to the brand was through tennis stars such as Pete Sampras, Jimmy Connors and Goran Ivanišević, who wore the label on court, as well as through the hip-hop community with rapper Notorious B.I.G., and the Nineties Fox sitcom “Martin.”

The White Label collection will offer a “high street or luxury” take, he said, while the main collection will encompass a “tech and lifestyle” aesthetic.

The main line will feature a reinterpreted take on the track suit and a wide range of knitwear that will be “comfortable and versatile” and appropriate to wear to work, out to dinner or just lounge around, he said. Tops will be offered in a range of woven fabrics, including satins, lightweight nylons and printed silk. Sweaters will be a key focus, as will the women’s offering. “It still has a fashion component but you can see the sport inspiration,” Chow said.

The White Label will have a more-tailored feel and will include pintucked, wide-leg pants with fully constructed waistband curtain and a pleated rugby dress with cut-and-sew striped panels. “It’s my take on tailoring and bringing that to a sportswear concept,” he said.

In both, there will be a lot of color, which is a hallmark of the brand and a refreshing change for Chow.

“With Public School, it’s always such a dark palette,” he said, “but here I had the freedom to play with color.” He said Tacchini actually was one of the first tennis brands to break with the all-white tradition and inject color into its pieces. So Chow turned to colorblocking and used that on the “angular, geometric shapes” he created for the collection.

“It’s easy and tennis-inspired, but not tennis specific,” he said.

Maroni said the main collection will have price points of $90 to $300, while the White Label, which is earmarked for a more-upscale international distribution, will retail for $300 to $800.

In 2018, Sergio Tacchini had sales of 50 million euros, according to published reports, up 10 percent from the prior year. Plans call for increasing sales to 100 million euros within the next five years. — Jean E. Palmieri

ZANELLA

Zanella has undergone a major refresh.

The luxury trouser brand has installed a new executive team and updated the silhouettes and fabrications of the collection to better fit into the modern men’s wear landscape. The first complete assortment will be showcased at the Pitti Uomo, followed by the men’s market in New York in January.

Zanella was purchased at the end of 2015 by Tengram Capital Partners, a Westport, Conn.-based private equity firm. Until this summer it was under the direction of Todd Barrato, who had also served as chief executive officer of Luciano Barbera, another brand in the Tengram stable.

“Todd was focused on both Luciano Barbera and Zanella,” said Bill Sweedler, cofounder and managing partner of Tengram. “He’s still helping us with Barbera, but we realized we needed someone to focus 100 percent on Zanella.”

A look from the revamped Zanella collection.

A look from the revamped Zanella collection.  Courtesy Photo

Enter Paul Buckter, who was hired in July as president and global ceo of Zanella. Buckter has a strong men’s wear background, which includes Hugo Boss, Brioni, Canali and Bloomingdale’s. He brought Andrew Weisbrot, who he had worked with at Brioni and who had been most recently with Boyds in Philadelphia, on board as vice president of sales.

Buckter said the first thing he did was talk to Zanella’s retail customers and heard loud and clear that the fit was not modern, the price points were too high and there were not enough technical fabrications in the line. “So we created a new Zanella in five months,” he said. “The name is pure and still resonates, we just needed updated product,” Weisbrot added.

For fall, the silhouettes have been modernized and while classic models still exist for the more-conservative stores, Zanella will also offer a more-tapered leg and a narrower bottom for retailers seeking a more-contemporary look. There will also be the Zanella version of the Lululemon pant, a stretch dress pant that will be offered in twill in printed glen plaid and gray flannel effects. They will retail for $298.

Fabrics, which were formerly centered around solids and basics, have been expanded to include moleskins in a variety of shades, Donegal knits, wool/cotton blends in plaids and a new range of active offerings with the high-end mill Reda that offers breathability and other technical properties. Price points were brought down to $298 for a dress pant, from the $350 to $450 previously. Zanella has also revamped its marketing and hangtags to reflect the changes.

A small capsule of complementary products including a quilted jacket, an unconstructed knit sport coat and a vest — all of which work back to the trousers — will also be offered for fall.

Looking ahead, Zanella hopes to expand its reach in Europe — the U.S. accounts for 80 percent of sales — as well as Asia, notably China, as well as Russia. It already does business in Japan. And there are rumblings that women’s wear, which had formerly accounted for 40 percent of the business but is no longer being produced, will be revived down the road.  — Jean E. Palmieri

 

 

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