An Herno image from the Spring 1970 men's collection

Herno is celebrating its 70th anniversary with a special event on June 12 during Pitti Uomo.

The Italian outerwear specialist will showcase its history and heritage with an installation at Florence’s Stazione Leopolda.

“We will set up a library on two floors where there will be areas dedicated to different themes, such as trends, manufacturing, history, sustainability, down products and technology,” said Claudio Marenzi, Herno’s president and chief executive officer, who inherited the company founded by his father Giuseppe Marenzi in 1948. “We chose the library, an element which we always install in our stores and showrooms, since it symbolizes a depository of memories and hope, and it combines the past, the present and the future.”

A section within the installation will be dedicated to the future. Here, Herno will display the creations of the students of fashion schools Polimoda and Osaka Bunka Fashion College. During the event, six seamstresses will be on hand creating the pieces as a way to showcase the company’s craftsmanship.

Founded as a company focused on the production of trenchcoats, Herno started producing outerwear pieces for a wide range of international luxury brands in the Eighties.

“In the early Aughts, we realized that this strategy focused on the production for others was not very successful anymore and in 2005 my parents asked me to take control and inaugurate a new phase for the company,” Marenzi said. “We stopped producing for others and we put the focus on the development of the brand [with the help] of private equity firm, Pegaso Investimenti, which entered into the company in 2007 and whose shares I bought back in 2012.”

In order to relaunch the Herno brand, Marenzi developed an ambitious strategy focused on creating strong awareness, repositioning the product offering and its distribution, and setting up communication and marketing activities.

Herno president and chief executive officer Claudio Marenzi

Herno president and chief executive officer Claudio Marenzi  Courtesy of Herno

The efforts paid off. In 2005, the company’s revenues were under 10 million euros, but Herno has seen its business grow 18 percent every year in the last decade and closed 2017 with sales of 96 million euros.

“We expect to exceed 100 million euros in 2018,” said Marenzi, adding that while Italy and Japan remain the company’s biggest markets, in the last few years the United States — which currently accounts for 10 percent of sales — has been an outperformer, with a yearly growth rate of 50 percent.

Japan and the United States are followed by Germany, South Korea, Spain and Russia. Herno hasn’t expanded into China yet.

“China is a very important market and it’s going to be extremely relevant not only in the next five years, but in the next 50 years. Since it’s so crucial that we’re ready to face it in the right way, it definitely represents one of our targets in the mid-term period,” said Marenzi, who also cited the opening of an online store among his goals.

Currently Herno operates 49 stores and is focusing on adding new units in Europe in 2018. The brand’s collections are also sold in 1,300 multibrand shops worldwide.

Among the best performing outerwear categories for the brand, Marenzi said, are Gore-Tex jackets, as well as down styles and trenchcoats positioned in the highest segment of the brand’s offering.