TOD’S SPA

The Tod’s brand produces Made in Italy luxury shoes and leather goods. The styles have became icons of modern living. A symbol of the perfect combination of tradition, quality and modernity.

Index

  1. The Origins
  2. Diego Della Valle Enters the Company
  3. Renamed to Tod’s S.p.A.
  4. Hogan
  5. Fay
  6. The Production
  7. The Gommino Loafer
  8. Turnover and Investment in the Early 2000s
  9. Enter into BNL
  10. Expansion and Collaboration
  11. Tod’s Acquires Roger Vivier
  12. Current SItuation

The Origins

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Tod's Family Portrait
Tod’s Family Portrait

The origins of Tod’s dates back to the turn of the twentieth century, when Filippo Della Valle, Diego’s grandfather, founded a small shoe manufacturer.

“My family has always had leather as a ruling force,” recalls the current chairman, Diego Dalla Valle. “My grandfather Filippo was a shoemaker, who worked in his kitchen at home, at first helped by my grandmother and then by the six children as they grew up. Twice a week my dad (Dorino), who was in charge of production, and uncle Pasquale, in charge of marketing, would travel by night on bicycles, or in freight trains, to save money, to Pescara, Forlì and Bologna, to sell our products to wholesalers who serviced the market stalls.”

In 1920 Tod’s started from a leather an at home shoe making workshop, founded by Fillippo Della Valle in Sant’Elipidio, Marche, Central Italy. Later, in the 1940s, Dorino Della Valle, took over the company after Fillippo’s death, and slowly started to grow this small shoe-making factory. He took on greater responsibilities within the structure of the footwear manufacturer that was producing, at the time, only women’s shoes.

At the end of the 1960s, Dorino Della Valle completed business on his own, with the help of his wife. Diego Della Valle, the son of Dorino Della Valle exclaims,

“my mother, Maria Micucci would stitch together soles and uppers, letting me sleep in the baskets of shoes to keep an eye on me.”

Diego Della Valle Enters the Company

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Tod's Diego Della Valle Portrait. Photographer: Emanuele Scorcelletti
Diego Della Valle Portrait. Photographer: Emanuele Scorcelletti

Dorino expanded the company into the US successfully, and started to sell his shoes in major department store in US. Diego began working for the company in the 1970s, after an attempt at university studies. He took just four exams in two years, in the department of law.

“In effect, the lack of a desire to study has always been a family disease. So I went back home and started working with my father.”

Through the 1970s Diego Della Valle expanded Fillippo’s workshop into a wider impact to the whole industry. Then, in 1979, Diego Della Valle became President of Tod’s. Also at this time, the vice president was his brother, Andrea Della Valle.

Renamed to Tod’s S.p.A.

In 1986 Diego Della Valle became the sole administrator of the company, which in the meanwhile had been renamed Tod’s S.p.A. New concepts in terms of product lines, marketing plans, and corporate strategy transformed the family workshop into one of the leading players in the production and marketing of luxury footwear and leather goods.

Later, the brands Hogan and Fay were introduced into the Tod’s Group in the 1980s.

Hogan

Hogan stood out for its high design content. The basic model, inspired by English cricket shoes from the 1930s, was made with a double overlapping upper in order to make the shoe more durable. With a foam rubber padding of the edges and the insole, and a sole with an undulating design to ensure maximum flexibility. Initially focused on the production of footwear for women, men, and children, Hogan recently diversified into leather goods.

Fay

Founded by the Tod’s Group in the late 1970s, the Fay brand was originally born in the United States, specializing in the production of robust corduroy cotton and nylon fishnet jackets jackets closed by four hooks inspired by American fire-fighters. Today the brand features male and female lines, complete with accessories, and a kids line. Fay is characterized by the distinctive Double Life philosophy. In each Fay collection, the garments are designed to address different business and business opportunities. Also, Leisure is for the city or the most dynamic outdoor contexts. The “Fay Code” is today synonymous with informal, sophisticated, cosmopolitan and versatile elegance. The expression of an Italian taste that, inspired by an international breath, combines quality, luxury and research in a timeless balance between tapestry and innovation.

In the 90s Fay joined the eloquent quality of Made in Italy and the style of tradition. The brand evolved into a cosmopolitan taste that moves its footsteps from tailoring to anticipate new urban scale trends worldwide, listening attentively to a constantly moving audience.

The Production

Tod's Craftmanship
Tod’s Craftmanship

Excellence in quality is an absolute must for the entire group. This is guaranteed by the high proportion of craftsmanship in the manufacturing process and a strict control of the raw materials and all the phases of the production process. Tod’s shoe manufacturing requires more than 100 working phases, from handmade leather to sewing of individual components of each model. A shoe can be made up of 35 pieces of leather, each of which is treated and manually checked before being assembled.

The entire process involves several skilled craftsmen in carrying out a precise task. The skins come from the best tanners in the world and, like fine wine, some pieces have to wait years to reach the right color and consistency point. Every single piece is checked by the experts to evaluate their color, strength and thickness to achieve a perfect homogeneity, otherwise it is discarded. Once the finished product is reached, every pair of shoes is carefully examined and the defective models are eliminated.

The same procedure is followed in the realization of the bags, which stand out for a craftsmanship similar to the old procedures used for saddlery.

Production is primarily carried out in 9 fully owned plants, 7 for footwear, and 2 for leather goods. Also, a part is outsourced to a few specialized workshops, which the company has established stable and long-lasting working relationships. Diego Della Valle has always rejected espansionist policies by acquiring some luxury players.

“I do not see the advantages of a pole. Each brand has its own research and product offices, advertising campaigns are autonomous, as well as mono-brand stores. In short, synergies are limited to production and logistics. With the risk that buyers do not have organizational structures and managers to devote to what they have bought, they eventually do not control anything anymore.”

The Gommino Loafer

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Gommino Loafer
Gommino Loafer

The “gommino” was born in the late 1970s. Diego Della Valle had noticed that they needed footwear ideal for casual chic occasions where a classical Italian prefer to wear a pair of chinos and a blazer and began working on this 50s prototype. The loafer if lightweight, flat, entirely hand-sewn, with rubber balls on the sole, so it simply called “rubbery” and worked. This featured an unusual sole that had 133 little raised rubber circles. In order to make one pair of loafers required 100 manufacturing steps, many of which involved hand labor. The strong point of the Tod’s line was also the selection of fine American leathers and British hides, all rigorously water-repellent and produced by quality, small-scale tanneries.was created with the intention of combining classic Italian style with the functionality of a versatile shoe that can be worn on any occasion.

The loftier has become international famous and worn by movie stars such as Michael Douglas, Catherine Deneuve, Denzel Washington, Antonio Banderas, Gwyneth Paltrow, Samuel Jackson, Orlando Bloom, George Clooney, Claudia Schiffer, and Cindy Crawford.

In 1997 the company launched a collection of classic, modern and chic handbags, able to reflect the same spirit of the footwear line. The most famous was the D Bag, bought by Princess Diana in the Paris boutique, demonstrating the company’s elegant style.

Tod's Diana D Bag
Tod’s Diana D Bag

Turnover and Investments in the Early 2000s

By 2000, Tod’s debuted in the electronic market of the Milan Stock Exchange. In 2001, the rise in economic indicators was still in double figures. Turnover increased by 26.6%, while the EBITDA, registered a leap upward of 31.5%.

In 2002, a year of crisis for the luxury sector, the manufacturer had a repeat year. Net revenues amounted to €358.2 million, a 12.5% increase, the EBITDA was €91.8 million, a 13.9% increase. That same year, investments in non-physical immobilization of capital, amounted to €28.6 million, due to the expansion of the network of direct distribution and sales, which grew by another 21 new shops. The capital locked up in material investments amounted to €15.8 million, of which 38% was allocated for the construction of a new manufacturing plant adjoining the headquarters of Sant’Elpidio a Mare. All the investments were self-financed, given that the financial situation was in the black to the tune of €46.7 million.

Enter into BNL

The label Tod’s, accounted for 57.2% of total sales, continues to bring in the lion’s share. During the same period, the company acquired 4.6% of Italy’s Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, so that Della Valle is now the third-largest shareholder, after the Basque group BBVA and Le Generali. Tod’s CEO, Diego exclaims,

“The objectives of this investment is to help, along with the other primary partners, to reinforce the stability of the bank. I am an industrialist, not a financier. I decided to buy into BNL on the basis of an industrial project, and I am in for the long term.”

At the end of 2002, the distribution network included 71 directly operated sales outlets, and 37 franchised stores.

In 2003 revenues and the gross operating margin of the first quarter of Tod’s SpA have increased, at constant rates of exchange, compared with the same period in 2002, by 3% and 17%, respectively. The label Tod’s, accounted for 57.2% of the total sales.

Expansion and Collaboration

In 2006, the comoany entered a collaboration with Marcolin Group to produce sunglasses collection. This year, they started to develop their market in China, and opened the first flagship store in Hong Kong. Until 2009, Tod’s has opened 13 boutiques in China.

Later, in 2011 Tod’s funded the renovation of the Colosseum.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Tod's at The Colosseum
The Colosseum

That same year, the company began supporting the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, entering the Theater Foundation. The result of this valuable collaboration is the short “An Italian Dream”.

A year later, in 2012, the leather goods, and accessories of Tod’s became available on Mr. Porter.

2013 the company replaced creative director, Derek Lam, with Alessandra Facchinetti, who made an impressive debut in the 2014 spring summer collection, until her stepping down in 2016. Then, in 2014. Andrea Incontri appointed creative director of men’s wear of Tod’s. Dot’s of Life launched- a modern platform that encouraged people to share their lifestyle on social media through the brand, utilizing a key modern platform.

Tod’s Acquires Roger Vivier

In 2015 Tod’s partnered with Net-a-Porter.com, after their trial launch a year before, to sell their ‘ready-to-wear’ brand of accessories online. At this year, Tod’s SpA acquired Roger Vivier, a French luxury women’s shoe brand. A year later, in 2016 the brand revenue registered €419.4 million in sales in the first nine months of 2016.

Current Situation

Tod's Headquarters
Tod’s Headquarters at Sant’Elpidio a Mare, Italy

Currently, the company’s headquarters still remains at Sant’Elipidio Marche, Central Italy, where Fillippo first started his small home-based workshop nearly 100 years ago. The rapid development of recent years has allowed the Tod’s Group to reach €1.004 million in turnover at December 31, 2016 and reach a number of employees that exceed about 5,000 employees.

As of December 31, 2016, the Group’s distribution network consisted of 272 DOS and 107 franchise stores, compared to 257 DOS and 99 franchise stores at 31 December 2015. Future objectives include the continuation of the investment plan under way, with continued research into new products and a growing international expansion of the direct distribution network.

Throughout Tod’s 90 years alive, they’ve been seeking perfection. Their legacy is intertwined with innovative thoughts and represented in an unprecedented approach. Tod’s everlasting mission is to understand and to pave the way to greatness, asserting the notion that with each step, perfection is possible.

TRUSSARDI

Founded by Dante Trussardi in 1911 in Bergamo, Italy. The company started as a luxury gloves business. Today, Trussardi is an international brand that produces “Made in Italy” luxury leather goods, men’s and womenswear collections.

Index

  1. The Origins 
  2. Nicola Trussardi
  3. The Greyhound
  4. The First Fashion Show
  5. Trussardi and the Theater
  6. Brand Expansion
  7. Beatrice Trussardi
  8. Foundation Nicola Trussardi
  9. Palazzo Trussardi Alla Scala
  10. Group Values
  11. Trussardi in the World
  12. The Recent Year’s

The Origins

Founded by Dante Trussardi in 1911 in Bergamo, Italy. The company  started as a high quality gloves business targeting elegant men and women. It grew and became an official provider for the royal family. The brand stood for discreet sophistication, experimentation and innovation. Iconic elements such as high quality raw materials and revolutionary leatherworking techniques were born. These iconic elements still exist in the brand DNA today.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Trussardi 1911 Dante Trussardi Sign
1911 Dante Trussardi Sign

Nicola Trussardi

Sixty years later, Dante’s grandson, Nicola Trussardi, a young manager with a degree in economics from Catholic University of Milan, took over the family business. In school, Nicola studied leatherworking processes, the market, and new trends that were reinforcing Italian style around the world. This education helped Nicola understand the destiny of gloves by this point was obsolete, and without a decisive change in direction, the company was destined to decline and fall. Nicola’s vision is to create a lifestyle brand, able to embrace with every style of life all aspects of life, always focusing on excellence.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Trussardi Nicola Trussardi Portrait
Nicola Trussardi Portrait

Trussardi became an industrial group and entered the clothing and luxury accessories department. They designed and produced suitcases, bags, home, office and leather jackets in constantly changing styles. The brand stood true to Italian tradition of fine craftsmanship that has been passed down through generations.

The Greyhound

In 1973 Nicola became the first designer to adopt a logo to identify all products. He used the greyhound to symbolize modernity, agility, and energy. the Greyhound revolutionizes the international fashion system leaving an indelible imprint in the imagination of those years with its refinement and elegance, with the cautious care of details, with incomparable quality materials. From this time on the greyhound became an international symbol, representing the brand that is still used today. In 1976 the brand opened its first flagship store in Milan and expanded into the European and American markets.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Trussardi Red Leather Greyhound Logo
Red Leather Greyhound Logo

The First Fashion Show

The next step was natural, with the presentation of the first collection of prêt-à-porter in the late 70s and early 80s. With the close collaboration of his wife Maria Luisa, Nicola offered a prêt-à-porter with contemporary and dynamic lines. He favored the use of leather, reinvented by new technologies of processing and other modern and precious materials, such as neoprene and microfibers. Along with being a designer, Nicola was an expert in marketing. He immediately focused on the world of media with spectacular operations in Milan. He brought his runway presentations into exciting new spaces including: Teatro alla Scala, the Piazza del Duomo, the Pinacoteca di Brera, the Stazione Centrale, the Borsa, the racetrack, and opened them to the general public. He surrounded himself with intellectuals and artists, who gave their contributions to the griffe: from the painter Renato Guttuso from whose drawings he derived a sunflower print, to directors and costume designers invited to collaborate on the staging of the runway presentations. But Nicola does not stop at fashion: he is among the first to understand the unstoppable value of the brand: bicycles, tile, perfume, cars, airplanes, helicopters, house linens.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Nicola Trussardi Inspiration, Renato Guttuso
Nicolas Inspiration: Renato Guttuso

Trussardi and the Theater

The Trussardi lifestyle includes art, entertainment, cultured events and design. At this time, the brand had officially become a vital brand in the field of excellent products to be “Made in Italy.” Including the diverse range of fashion, art, cuisine and design. In the years Trussardi is able to blend in harmony with fashion at the theater. He collaborates with the Teatro Piccolo in Milan and with his director Giorgio Strehler, dressing Macbeth on stage at Verona Arena and setting up a parade at Castello Sforzesco with the direction of Dario Argento. Nicola interprets himself in Robert Altman’s Prêt-à-porter movie. This leads to the opening of Palatrussardi in 1986. A new venue for concerts and large scale entertainment events, that housed Frank Sinatra’s last concert in Italy.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Trussardi Frank Sinatra at Palatrussardi
Frank Sinatra at Palatrussardi

Brand Expansion

Known for their elegance and quality, Trussardi rapidly grew internationally through the 90s, that expanded beyond fashion. The Group launches the Jeans, Home, Baby, Junior, Eyewear and Perfumes lines, becoming synonymous with elegance and absolute quality. In the 1990s, the company continued its international expansion path, focusing on new emerging markets in Eastern Europe, Asia and the Middle East. New boutiques are opened in Hong Kong (1992), Moscow (1993), Taiwan and Taipei (1994). In those years it is also the image to spread the style around the world thanks to the collaboration with the most interesting voices of international photography such as Richard Avedon, Mario Testino, Michel Comte, and Steven Klein.

In 1996, Palazzo Marino Alla Scala opened, a newly renovated hotel, that became the first flagship building in the fashion world that was built with a showroom, boutique, exhibition space, café, bookshop and restaurant all in one. On average, in recent years, sales amount to Lire 750 billion a year. In 1998, he founded a school for future fashion professionals, photographers and communicators. Sadly, on an April night in 1999 Nicola Trussardi died suddenly at the age of 57, in a car crash. The tradition of the Trussardi family name and the spirit of Nicola continues to be upheld.

Beatrice Trussardi

After the death of their father, children Beatrice and Francesco took over the management of the family business. The “touch” of these two young people became immediately apparent. They created a younger fashion. The runway presentation for Winter 2003 ranged from the vaguely British style, with minor references to India in the form of damasked fabrics, and sporty suits. British style: knit pullovers with leather inserts, velvet suits, regimental stripes printed on the suede blazers. During this runway presentation, the maison announced a licensing agreement with Vestimenta, for formalwear and men’s sportswear, for Spring-Summer 2004.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Beatrice Trussardi Portrait
Beatrice Trussardi Portrait

The following year Francesco died at the age of 29 in a car crash, by a tragic fate, just as his father had. In March of 2003, 32-year-old Beatrice, becomes sole president, after father and her brother’s sudden deaths. Determined to carry on the work that her brother had begun, for Winter 2004, she presented one of the finest runway presentations in the history of the brand. It represented a way of being, more than just a fashion. The desire to please, rather than to astonish. A wardrobe intentionally for daytime wear, outside of any trends, and therefore, easy to wear. The line included interchangeable items in bright and complementary colors.

In 2006 Eric Wright, an American designer, who worked closely alongside Karl Lagerfeld, while designing for Fendi womenswear, was named head designer by Beatrice, current CEO and President at the time. Beatrice hired Wright with the intention of strengthening the menswear by reversing the current marketed route by bringing back forgotten colors, patterns and rediscover the rounded lines of inside pocket objects. Wright was head designer for 2 years.

Then, in 2008 the Trussardi high end brand was re-named Trussardi dal 1911. During this name change, Beatrice Trussardi, current CEO and President appointed Milan Vukmirovic, previous creative director at Jil Sander, and briefly Design Director at Gucci working alongside Tom Ford, to creative director. Beatrice hired Vukmirovic for his contemporary vision for tradition of Trussardi style.

Foundation Nicola Trussardi

Beatrice also strengthened Trussardi’s commitment to contemporary culture through the launch of the Fondazione Nicola Trussardi; a nomadic museum built to bring art into people’s lives. The foundation restores neglected houses in Milan and gives them to the city to be used as space for exhibitions and events. The company is also part of the world of high-class cuisine with Trussardi Alla Scala Restaurant, one of the best outposts of quality gastronomy in Italy that has recently obtained the prestigious recognition of the two Michelin stars.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Restaurant Trussardi Alla Scala
Restaurant Trussardi Alla Scala

Palazzo Trussardi Alla Scala

In 2009 Trussardi flagship building, Palazzo Trussardi Alla Scala underwent structural renovations and has become a heart of Italian culture. Sticking true to brand values of tradition, the building now houses the first concept store. Inside you can find an exposed layout filled with accessories and clothing for men and women, articles for the home, an area devoted to winning voices of image based journalism, and Café Trussardi, home of the first vertical garden installation in Italy, designed by Patrick Blanc.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Palazzo Trussardi Alla Scala
Palazzo Trussardi Alla Scala

Group Values

Engaged in innovation, sustainability and environmental engagement, Trussardi is the story and the future of Made in Italy excellence in fashion, design, art and cuisine. The brand expresses a new lifestyle, based on excellence: for almost a hundred years the brand is an expression of the solidity and creativity of a home, commitment, and family values.

In fashion, the company has developed, in a century of experience, a unique ability to look for new ways and techniques for treating hides and fabrics. The roots of the brand include the Italian industrial history and its ability to work on the skin is unmatched throughout the world. The gloves laboratory opened by Dante Trussardi in 1911 is a historic example of the dedication and ambitions of the company. The creativity of the family, which has crossed, reinvented and renewed, the last century of our history, expresses an imaginary made of measured elegance, attention to detail, sobriety and charm.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Trussardi Blue Leather Gloves
Trussardi Blue Leather Gloves

In fashion, design, art and cuisine, each time the brand continually combines the culture of its history with the emotion, lightness, irony, and visions of contemporary. Thanks to the strength of the tradition that has built over time, the brand is able to offer fascinating surprises, rapid innovations, and small daily revolutions.

Trussardi in the world

Trussardi is an industrial group that produces and distributes worldwide. Through a differentiation between flagship stores, boutiques, franchise stores, corners, licenses and large retailers, their products are present in every significant market for apparel, accessories, perfumes, furnishing, and home accessories.

The Group’s exclusive distribution network comprises around 440 outlets around the world: 7 Trussardi boutiques, over 300 Tru Trussardi boutiques and in department stores, 17 Trussardi Home stores, and more than 110 retail outlets and stores. Including, the first TJ (Trussardi Jeans) shop opened at Moscow Gum in 23 countries in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

The Group is also present in the most important multibrands in the world including Barneys, New York; Jeffrey’s, New York; The Webster, Miami; Ron Hermann, Los Angeles; Harrods, London; Joseph, London; Aizel, Moscow; Colette, Paris; Printemps, Paris; Mientus, Berlin; Quartier 206, Berlin; Abseits, Stuttgart; Lakis Gavalas, Athens; Galy, Ibiza; The Outpost, Barcelona; Chapeau, Valencia; White Gallery, Rome; Boon the shop, Seoul; United Arrows, Tokyo; Restir, Tokyo; Designworks, Tokyo; Isetan, Tokyo; Estnation, Tokyo; Eight Million, Tokyo; Joyce, Hong Kong.

The Recent Year’s

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Trussardi Family Portrait
Family Portrait

Through the renovations the company exposes themes of innovation and sustainability. Then, in 2011 Trussardi 1911 line is officially changed to Trussardi. Umit Benan Sahin, Turkish designer, is appointed as head designer of now Trussardi line. He previously worked for Marc Jacobs, Cacharel, and under Sophie Theallet. Sahin debuted his first line at Milan Fashion Week for Spring/Summer 2012 at Palazzo Trussardi alla Scala.

February of 2013, Gaia Trussardi, granddaughter of founder Dante, is appointed as creative director of Trussardi mainline collections and advertising campaigns. She has been a part of the company since age 23, and previously designed for Tru Trussardi and Trussardi Jeans. The brand expresses its need for continuous evolution and to strengthen brand identity. In March 2016, Beatrice, former CEO and President, gave Tomaso Trussardi, current CEO, her 25% stake in the company. The company announced a 5-year plan to reposition the brand in accessible luxury. Including a 90% overhaul in line management and restructuring of the multi and mono-brand sales channel, closing down less profitable stores. Along with major changes, the line Tru Trussardi is being discontinued, the last collection was Spring/Summer 2016. Trussardi and Trussardi Jeans will remain. Gaia plans to position the main Trussardi line around “Elegantly Cool” and the Trussardi Jeans will remain a streetwear look.

Today, Trussardi has introduced a contemporary new accessory called the Lovy bag, representing true Italian craftsmanship, made of the finest materials. The brand ambassador, Michelle Hunziker, represents the ironic and elegant elements of the brand. She is confident, complimented with a bubbly personality. Michelle is the ambassador for the new bag, appearing in all campaigns since 2016.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Trussardi Michelle Brand Ambassador for Lovy Bag
Michelle Hunziker: Brand Ambassador for the Lovy Bag

 

CHURCH’S

English brand of shoes that is a recognized leader in the men’s handmade luxury footwear industry. Known for high-quality shoes with modern style and elegance. Representing the English artisan-made shoe all over the world.

The Origins: Stone Church

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Church's Artisan
Church’s Artisan

Church’s dates back to 1675, when the company founder’s great-grandfather, Stone Church, was born in Northampton. A town known for a successful leather and footwear industry since Cromwellian times. The shoemaking skills were passed down generation to generation to Stone’s great grandson, Thomas Church. In 1873 the brand Church’s was created by the brothers Thomas, Alfred, and William Church.

Church’s began exporting outside of Europe to the United States, Canada and South America, and received the prestigious Queen’s Award for Exports from Queen Elizabeth II in 1965.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Church's Heritage Shoe Craftsmanship
Church’s Heritage Shoe Craftsmanship

There are 250 production steps for each pair and the process takes 8 weeks. The firm’s headquarters is in Northampton, the town which provided the boots for Cromwell’s army in the Irish War. It also provided 70% of the shoes worn by the British soldiers fighting in the trenches along the Marne in the massacre of World War I.

The Goodyear Model

The shoe factory, besides producing the classic leather shoe, first invented the technique to combine the preciousness of the most valuable and futuristic rubber comfort used for soles. That is how the Goodyear model was born, a lace-up leather shoe with para rubber. The first exports were made in 1887. The début in America came in 1907.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Church's Goodyear Flexible Rubber Collection 2012
Goodyear Flexible Rubber Collection 2012

In 1998 the turnover was 240 billion liras. At this point, the griffe is still guided by the family’s descendants, even if they no longer control the majority of shares. In Summer 1999 Diego Della Valle, “Mr. Tod’s,” bought up 8.6% of the shares. Patrizio Bertelli of Prada bought 9% and, at the end of August, launched a friendly takeover bid to acquire control, offering a 20% premium over the share price, of the Stock Exchange’s price, worth about 310 billion liras.

Prada Acquires Church’s

Later in 1999, Church’s is taken over by Prada Holding, a Dutch company at the head of Gruppo Internazionale, which is among the world leaders in luxury design. The acquisition occurs with the explicit intent of “optimizing” the business opportunities of the brand, with full respect for its English identity. The main strategic plan foresees the rationalization of production criteria and the introduction of marketing logic in the planning of collections and new products. This is to allow a further expansion of production capacity and the development of a collection that includes classic categories as well as more contemporary offerings connected to the seasons.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Church's Shanghai Ebony White Classic Shoe
Church’s Shanghai Ebony White Classic Shoe

Church’s New Chapter

In January 2002, a second single-brand boutique in Milan, after the one on via Sant’Andrea, is opened in September 2000. The 600 square foot shop in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele is on two floors (shop and warehouse), with walls in teak and wengé floors. It was designed by Roberto Baciocchi.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Church's Store Milan at La Rinascente
Church’s Store Milan at La Rinascente

During this year, the Church’s Group turnover amounts to €61.2 million, with a return to operating profitability and expected further growth in 2003. At this point, there are 48 single-brand points-of-sale, of which 47 are privately owned and 1 is a franchise. The brand is available in 895 multi-brand shops. The group employees a total of 700 people all over the world, with a production centered 95% in England and 5% in Italy for the women’s Collection. The expansion policies of the brand have involved the retail channel and the opening of new single-brand shops in the most important international capitals. The new boutiques are in Milan, in 2001; Paris, on Rue Saint-Honoré; Rome, on via Condotti; St. Moritz, on Palace Arcade, in 2002; and New York, on Madison Avenue, in 2003.

International Expansion

A year later in 2003, an agreement is signed between Prada Group and Equinox. An important private equity investment company to support an ambitious worldwide expansion plan. This plan is based on the development of new and complementary categories of merchandise. An important part of the agreement is the complete autonomy of the Prada Group in design decisions and in the strategy concerning the identity of the brand. According to the agreement, Equinox acquired 45% of the capital of the Church’s GroupThen, later in December 2006, Prada acquired 100% capital of Church’s.

In 2008 the brand started a new development plan to begin opening more international stores. Including Venice, Bologna, Leeds, Edinburgh, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Current Situation

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Church's New Bond Street Boutique
Church’s New Bond Street Boutique

In 26 July 2011 church’s opened the first store dedicated to the women’s collection in the heart of London’s shopping district, New Bond Street.

Currently, there are 200 single-brand boutiques all over the world. The number of employees is about 2,000.