IT Holding

In April 2000 Molise Ittierre Holding, guided by the President Tonino Perna (1948) and by the general manager Giancarlo Di Risio (1956) changed its corporate name to IT Holding Spa. It is not a simple name change, but an effective operation of ‘strategy corporate naming’. The group intended to give itself a new image in the light of several launching operations of its own brands and the acquisition of other brands and licenses which, having been carried out in the last year, transformed the group into an protagonist of Made in Italy, concentrated on luxury. “The change”, says Perna, “is necessary to confer to the company a more coherent connotation with the present role of the Holding and the Group, which is active non only in the clothing sector, but also in that of accessories and similar items, with diversified shareholdings”. The targets declared to the financial community for 2000-2002 are explicit: “An average growth of 30% in the selling of our own brands, and a target turnover for 2002 of more than 500 million Euros”. Ittierre did not disappear. It remained as a company within the group that followed the young lines of Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Gianfranco Ferré, and Roberto Cavalli, as well as its own brands, such as Exté, Romeo Gigli, and Husky. At the end of 2000 the group scored again. Gianfranco Ferré chose the group as his new industrial and financial partner. At the end of the operation, the Perna group has 90% of the capital stock of Gianfranco Ferré, while the designer maintained a quota of 10%, as well as the role of President and total creative autonomy. The targets declared by Ferré are the strengthening of the clothing and existing accessories lines, and the creation of new lines including a high couture line. The operation brought about the birth of an entirely Italian luxury extreme, not only in terms of share control, but above all as the cultural profile and the reference values. 2000 closed with a turnover of 838 billion Liras (compared with 717 billions in 1999) and a gross operative margin of 84.5 billion Liras. The group, located in Prettoranello di Isernia in Molise, started in 1982 on the initiative of Perna as a company focused on licenses and capable of providing a high quality service to its partners. It continually created its own brands, such as Exté and Gentry Portofino, and has production and distribution licenses with brands, such as Versus, Versace Jeans Couture, D&G, D&G Jeans, D&G Sport, Gianfranco Ferré Jeans, and Sport. It became world leader with 65% of the market in the branded youth clothing segment. 1999 can be considered a year of conquests. Ittierre acquired the Mac Malo group, a world leader in the cashmere sector. The value of the operation was 100 billion liras. It guaranteed a twenty-year exclusive of the brands owned by Romeo Gigli, while the Tonino Perna group, which controlled 85% of Diners Club Italy, absorbed the publishing house Franco Maria Ricci, the pick in the strategy of development and qualified initiatives, which were complementary and synergic to the group. It also joined the eyewear business, acquiring two companies. It took over Allison Spa for 11.2 billion Liras, which had acquired Optiproject Srl for 7.1 billion Liras. A five-year contract and a world exclusive with Roberto Cavalli, for the creation and development of a clothing line dedicated to the fashion of the new generation, strengthened the area of licenses, an established business of the group. In 1999 it acquired the license of the English brand Husky for 16 years. After these acquisitions, the holding reorganized itself. It created two divisions to manage licenses and brands separately. The group is managed by a highly powerful computer system with a uniquely computerized warehouse, which is a limited responsibility company with capital stock. The group employs 1,000 workers directly, plus 600 working in external production units. In 1998 the turnover amounted to 651.5 billion (up 7.2% compared to 1997) with an export quota of 68.3%. The supplying-distribution structure, the links between production and logistics, the stocking of millions of pieces in the warehouses, the delivery system of 80,000 pieces a day are innovative thanks to the optimization strategies set by interdisciplinary groups of the Polytechnic of Milan. Ittierre also has a vocation for research. Its laboratories have produced super-technological and exclusive fabrics, which are highly praised by Exté, the label that mixes past and future with the present. Cult fashion are the small transparent jackets with electronically welded feather linen, which inflate to increase warmth; the blouses in carbon fiber; the knitwear worked with rubber, plastic with jersey; the Kevlar, a fabric cut with laser used in space missions, combined with viscose; glass fiber, neoprene for divers’ equipment, and vinyl. Everything is created in a continued triumph of contradictions, as these materials, smeared, polished, and painted, match with noble fibers such as linen, cotton, wool, also in the precious cashmere version.