Gruppo Finanziario Tessile (Textile Financial Group) It operates in the clothing field. It was established in 1930 from the merger of two companies, Donato Levi & Sons and the Unites wool factory of Biella. In 1954, it was taken over by the brothers Franco, Silvio, and Piergiorgio Rivetti, who relaunched the men’s manufacturing plant FACIS (Fabbrica Abbigliamento Confezioni In Serie, or Mass Production Clothing Factory). They relied on an image strategy that was based on an effective advertising campaign and, above all, on a revolution in style that was no longer theoretical but calibrated on 25,000 male samples. During the 1960s, the number of lines grew to include lines for women: the most well-known is Cori (Confezioni Rivetti), designed by Biki. In 1971, Marco Rivetti became head of the company and began an upgrading of the factory and of the products. Subsequent agreements would attract prestigious designers to the griffe, including Ungaro, Armani (for women and men, and the Mani line, 1978), Valentino (Valentino Boutique and Miss V), Louis Féraud, Massimo Osti, Chiara Boni, and Claude Montana. The group introduced new industrial methods in order to guarantee a high stylistic content. In 1977, the firm established GFT USA, which also covered Canada and Mexico. The 1980s were a time of great success for the Group, with 35 subsidiaries, of which 18 were abroad (each with independent management), and the opening of new markets in Japan, China, Hong Kong, and Korea. In the mid 1990s, GFT entered the North American market, and then the Far East markets, which at that time were going through recessions. The market grew weak, and the burden of royalties became unsustainable. In 1997, the group was absorbed by the holding company HDP.
The group acquires the American brand Joseph Abboud and all its license agreements. Little known in Europe, it is very famous in the U.S, Great Britain, and Japan, with a line of classic men’s clothing, sportswear, and golfwear. The entire operation cost about 130 billion liras.
After selling Sahzà to the Mariella Burani group in October 2001, it is now the turn of the Revedi companies, which manage commercial space in Italy and Switzerland. All of the companies are acquired at a cost of €3.7 million. Calvin Klein Inc. ends its license agreement with GFT ahead of time because it wishes to bring all its licenses back under its direct control. GFT’s collaboration with Calvin Klein on the men’s line goes back to 1992. The American license was due in June 2002, while those for Europe, the Middle East, and Asia were to last until 2006.
Revenues at GFT have gone down 50%, from €99.5 million to €48.3 million. The reduction is in large part due to the loss of the Calvin Klein licenses and to supply interruptions with Valentino and Facis. The operating results, although negative, have gone from a loss of €5.5 million to a smaller loss of €3.7 million.
At the end of the month, GFT closes for good, with the dismissal of the entire staff, 149 employees and 187 workers, some of whom should be hired by the Piedmont manufacturing company Codis. In March, the accounts are rendered. Although it ends 2002 with a loss, the company has reduced the loss from €79.6 million in 2001 to €12.1 million in 2002. This is thanks to the good performance, with revenues of about €80 million, of Joseph Abboud, the only brand still belonging to GFT.