Cesare Paciotti is a shoe designer from Italy born in 1958, but he did not start the business that bears his name. The shoe business, which was first named Paris, was founded in 1948 by his parents, Giuseppe and Cecilia Paciotti, in Civitanova Marche. The company specialized in high quality handmade shoes.
At an early age Cesare learned from his parents the mastery of Italian shoemaking and created sketches and prototypes. He went to DAMS University in Bologna then inherited the business from his father in 1980. At this time, they renamed the business Cesare Paciotti and he became the creative director, while his sister Paola managed the company matters.
First Shoe Collection & Menswear
In the beginning of the 80s he created his first shoe collection. Also, his men’s line, with its nonconformist designs and outrageous advertising campaigns, stood out in what was a traditional and conservative field. Innovation and high quality are combined with strong geometric shapes and the prolific use of metallic accessories. At the same time Gianni Versace, Romeo Gigli and Dolce Gabbana, asked them to craft their shoes.
At the beginning of the 1990s he launched a women’s collection and the highly recognisable stiletto heel, creating extremely feminine shoes. A few seasons he created a range of handbags, cases, backpacks, hats, and overnight bags. In 1998 he launched a range of eyewear. In 2001 the year closed with a turnover of €49 million, an increase of €13 million from the previous year.
The brand’s strong personality is symbolised by the dagger, whose hilt bears the designer’s initials creating an unmistakable logo for the maison.
In 2002 the brand launched the new collection “Paciotti 4Us”. The brand was one of the 40 Italian exhibitors participating in WSA International in Las Vegas, one of the most important fairs for the US shoe market. Launch of a handkerchief shaped bag called Ebe, like the “servant” of the gods charged with pouring out ambrosia at banquets. Ebe was in canvas, chamois leather, tassel and straw, with a leather or rattan handle.
In February 2003 The New York Fashion Institute of Technology Museum celebrated Cesare Paciotti’s shoes, along with Gucci handbags, and hundreds of other designer pieces, in the exhibition Italy, in the Life Styles. From May to August Cesare Paciotti’s more classic footwear was featured at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in Goddess. This was an exhibition exploring and underlining the influence of Classical dress on fashion of the last three centuries, through a collection of hundreds of garments, prints, and photographs from 1800 to the present day.
A Hard Time
Over the years, Cesare Paciotti’s lines expanded further: in 2007, jewelry and watches made their debut, then a collection of underwear and swimwear in 2008. The intense activity of public relations led Cesare Paciotti to join numerous celebrities, who became testimonials for the campaigns of the brand. In the meantime, the expansion of the retail network continued with the opening of stores and in-franchising stores in China, Dubai and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
But in 2013 the Paciotti company goes into crisis. This crisis is connected to the collapse of the internal market and a huge sum that the company should have received by usual Italian customers that did not pay their debt with Paciotti because of the recession. Two-thirds of the company were based on the turnover in sales in Italy, but the local market, with the collapse in sales, was greatly reduced.
After a strong period of deep recession, the Paciotti company feels the need to continue its activities relaunching the brand, despite the financial blockade that has suffered in recent years. The company has had the support from the suppliers, who trusted Paciotti even in such a delicate moment.
In October 2017, Paciotti collaborated with Slovenian-Italian stylist Ada Kokosar, and launched a capsule collection called Paciotti by Midnight. This collection is inspired from Cinderella’s glass slippers and Marie Antoinette’s lavish style. All of this collection are covered in PVC, which allow you to wear these satin shoes in the rain.
Today, Paciotti S.p.A. aims not only to a growth in sales in the Italian market, but also in foreign markets, such as Russia and East, whose revenues have increased 32-65%. In addition to a revival in new markets, there has also been an internal restructuring, with 120 employees in Civitanova Marche, a few flagship stores and a particular attention to e-commerce, with sales increased by 3.5%. The Paciotti family has decided to invest everything to save the house, symbol of luxury shoes made in Italy.
Canali is a men’s clothing company that was established in 1934 by the brothers Giovanni and Giacomo Canali. The company mainly produces excellent tailored shirts and jackets. The entire history can be seen in a simple comparison between the small tailor’s workshop where it started, compared to the seven manufacturing plants that now exist.
The business began with two owner-operators and just a few workers. Now the company is guided by the third generation and there are 1,000 workers. Within three generations, production has expanded to include accessories, sportswear, and ties.
In June 2003 Canali received the Pitti Immagine Uomo prize. The award, received by Eugenio Canali, general manager of the company, is given to those who have distinguished themselves in the field of fashion and increased the success of the Made in Italy movement. The clothing is manufactured in seven production centers, all connected to the central headquarters at Sovico, near Milan. About 75% of the turnover is sold abroad. The most important market is North America, followed by Western Europe. Growing markets include those of the former Soviet Union. The year 2002 ended with a turnover of €145 million.
Modern Italian Tailoring
Canali produces the highest standards of cut, construction and finishing for gentlemen who seek a sartorial look that satisfies their needs and personalities. The brand uses the finest textiles on the market and their artisans pay attention to detail. For example, every roll of fabric is examined by their experts that measure its weight, check each end and evaluate all of its features, examining every inch of the textile to find even the smallest defects.
“Every year we work closely with the mills in Biella [the heart of the Italian textiles industry] to produce amazing new blends of fabrics,” Elisabetta Canali
The company closed 2003 with an increase of 5%, this result is due to both the resilience of US market, which makes 30% of company sales, and the development of new markets, as Russia (Moscow second store with 3 boutiques) and especially China (20 flagship stores).
At this time, there are more than 30 boutiques around the world. Milan, which was the first flagship store opened in 1999, has expanded from a 200 to 600 square meter store. New Canali spaces are opened in St.Petersburg, Amsterdam and Paris (12 showrooms in the world).
In the medium-term plans, much attention is paid to foreign markets, where Canali looks very carefully in its main business lines: Exclusive Canali and Canali Sports, which currently makes the 75% of the turnover.
In this same period, the company signed its first license for the production and distribution of a fragrance with Eurocosmesi, to be launched in 2005. The five-year agreement aims at a masculine scent, being faithful to the mission of the company that looks to the continuity with the Canali style.
The 2004 turnover was €155 million (+ 13% compared to 2003). In 2005, it reaches up €160 million (+ 4.3% compared to 2004). At this time, the company owns seven plants, is in more than a thousand stores worldwide and 35 single-brand boutiques. By 2005 daily Canali production is 1400 suits and 1600 trousers, employing more than 1500 people.
In 2006 Canali plays the energy and dynamism of the contemporary man and launches the Canali Men Travel Set, a stylish and practical travel kit dedicated to the real citizens of the world. With a growth rate of 10% per year, Canali invoiced €178 million in 2006, opening to external managers.
A year later, in 2007 the limited edition Black Diamond Eau de Parfum is launched, celebrating the second year of life of the Canali Men fragrance. Also, the company celebrated the new store opening in Hong Kong at the IFC Mall; in addition to ready-to-wear clothes, customers can order custom-made clothes, which will be ready in eight weeks, thanks to the tailoring service offered in the new store.
In 2009 Canali celebrated the 75th anniversary. To celebrate this milestone the historical brand moves the presentation of the new collections in Milan. Also, they opened a new Paris boutique with 500 square meters on one level. The opening is at 36 Rue Marbeuf, near the Avenue des Champs Elysèes.
The company ends the year with €150 million (-17%) and continues to invest in retail. The company opens their first boutique in the Republic of Singapore, in the Island of Sentosa, inside the stunning building complex Resort World.
Acquires & Collaborations
In 2010 Canali opens its new headquarters in New Bond Street, in two historic buildings in London. In the same year, Datafashion passes into the hands of the Canali Group. The historical Italian menswear brand completes the process that began in December 2008, when it acquired 49% of Datafashion, the Parma company operating for over 25 years in the software and services market for the fashion and luxury business.
The United States is the largest market of the company, with a turnover that reaches €156 million. So, in 2011, their boutique moves from the center of New York to a new larger space in the Meatpacking District. Also, they open their first boutique in San Paolo Brazil, at the first floor of the prestigious “Shopping Cidade Jardim”. The Group, led by the third generation, closes 2011 with a budget of €184 million, and an increase of 12%.
In 2012 the Canali Group signs a joint venture agreement with the Indian company Genesis Luxury Fashion Private Limited, already the brand’s distributor in India with 5 boutique in Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore. At the same time, Canali strengthens its presence within the Chinese market with a new flagship store in Beijing. The boutique is celebrated with the event “Unveiling Tradition“, with the Chinese actor Huang Xiaoming as special guest, celebrating the 78 years of the Italian tailoring tradition of Canali.
Creative Director: Andrea Pompilio
In 2014, Canali named new creative director Andrea Pompilio, who has won the “Who’s the Next” award, and has designed for many top luxury brands. His aim for Canali is to create a new men’s wardrobe which is rich in details but with clean silhouette, move the design focus to leisure wear but always refined.
The Canali family and the group have been involved in charity actively. In 2015 October, Canali revealed it non-for-profit organization, Fondazione Canali Onlus. With the purpose to promote and sustain projects related to social assistance, health care, education and professional training, Fondazione Canali Onlus has helped numerous charity projects worldwide.
In early 2016, the brand opened its first boutique in Jordan to make its presence in Middle East market. The new boutique is located in the heart of Abdali, aim to offering a new, high-end shopping experience for consumers there. Later in April, Andrea Pompilio departs, and now the brand’s in-house design team is in charge of all collections.
During Canali’s Fall 2017 Menswear presentation, the brand released a short film created by Italian director Ivan Cotroneo, to show guests the behind scene of construction of Canali suits, but only in reverse. Meanwhile, to celebrate Canali’s craftsmanship and Made in Italy excellence, the brand launched a design workshop for Italian fashion School students to discover new talents.
Currently, Canali’s headquarters, in the newly redeveloped Porto Nuova district, is strikingly modern. In October 2017 the brand announced the closing of their factory in Carate Brianza, a one-hour drive from Milan. The employees that were let go were mainly seamstresses and ironers who had been working at the Canali factory for 20 or 30 years.
Benetton was established in 1965 in Ponzano Veneto, Italy, by the Benetton family. It started as an artisan’s workshop that specialized in knitwear that was well-designed at rather affordable prices and now is a global fashion brand.
Benetton was established in 1965 in Ponzano Veneto (Treviso) by the Benetton siblings Luciano, Giuliana, Gilberto and Carlo. At the beginning it was simply an artisan’s workshop specialized in knitwear that was well-designed at rather affordable prices.
“My sister Giuliana,” says Luciano Benetton, “made sweaters for a small shop in our area. One day, she gave me a sweater that was very bright yellow. Well, everyone wanted it. They were tired of the sad and dull colors of the time. Then, said: “Come on, let’s try it; you, Giuliana, will design and I will sell. We bought an old machine to weave stripes onto net stockings. We sold it cheap, and we transformed it. Since then, no one has been able to stop us.”
Company Information: 1998
By 1998 Benetton had a turnover of almost 9 trillion liras, company stores and franchisees all over the world. The company had become the twelfth largest Italian industrial group in the Mediobanca ranking, and it is one of the most important clothing and textile concerns in Italy. Half of the sales came from the traditional areas of sportswear and accessories under the brands; Benetton, Benetton 012, Sisley, Zerotondo, and Tutti i colori del mondo. At this point, the company had licenses for accessories, underwear, beachwear, cosmetics and linens. The other half of the turnover came from more recent areas of expansion: wholesale distribution, highway restaurants, real estate, and merchant banking.
The group produces 80% of their T-shirts, shirts, dresses and trousers, which are sold all over the world, in-house. The remaining 20% has been manufactured abroad for the past few years. In the plants at Castrette, a giant and very modern factory sheds fitted with cables and designed by the architect Tobia Scarpa. At this plant 1,000 people operate computers and control panels that would remind you of one of the great research centers for advanced technology.
Benetton created the Robostore logistics system, which staffs 14 people who sort 30,000 packages a day and 10 million pieces per month. The staff loads them on trucks and, according to the destination, separates them by country and sales point, and looks like a conveyer belt, or like a baggage claim at an airport. The less complicated steps of processing, such as sewing and ironing, are given out by contract to a group of companies in the Veneto work almost exclusively for Benetton and employ 30,000 people.
Benetton is a giant production network which starts with wool from sheep in Argentina and goes all the way to distribution in the last Benetton shop in the third world, or in Greenland, where they sell Benetton sweaters and shirts. It is a network which studies the fabric, designs the Collection, and cuts, dyes and controls the quality, of almost 80 million pieces a year. Also while distributing them, at almost the same moment, and therefore practically without any warehousing, to 7,000 shops in 120 countries.
The Start of Innovative Advertising
Over the years Benetton’s advertising campaigns became innovative and often provocative. In 1982, world-renowned photographer Olivero Toscani created for Benetton the first of his multiracial campaigns with the United Colors of Benetton slogan. Later on, the Italian brand moved into controversial issues such as AIDS, Gulf War casualties and so on. From images of A freshly born baby complete with umbilical cord, to a picture of an HIV-positive patient as he lay dying in hospital, Benetton’s campaigns whipped up controversy and placed the brand front and center in the public eye.
As a result, through the 80s and 90s the brand’s penchant for courting controversy helped boost the brand recognition of Italian fashion giant, leading to Benetton’s chain of shops hitting 7,000 worldwide by 1993. In 2000, Benetton advertising had entered a new phase. Fabrica, Benetton’s communication center took over the Group’s communication, ending up collaboration with Oliviero Toscani for 18 years.
In the clothing industry, Benetton seems to have achieved a successful formula and resembles many Made in Italy manufacturing districts, but with only one brain at the top. Everything began almost by chance. And by the 2000s the global annual turnover amounts to about 4 trillion liras. The company is listed on the stock exchange in Milan, New York and Frankfurt.
Brand Development Through 2000s
In March 2000 an agreement is signed for the transfer of the Formula One Team Benetton to the French automotive company Renault for $120 million. Benetton is to continue as the official sponsor for two more years. In Hamburg, a new four-storey superstore opens in the city center. The development of the sales network continues through direct investments in several German cities, after the shop openings in Berlin, Leipzig, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Stuttgart and Hanover. The German market is the second in strategic importance and sales volume after Italy.
By September the first superstore opens in Moscow, at 19 Tverskaya, with 20,000 sq. ft. on three floors. The following month, a new flagship store opens in Cardiff. In December, Benetton concludes an agreement to acquire 12 department stores from the Coin Group, for 25.3 billion liras.
By the end of 2000 the Group’s balance sheet shows consolidated revenues of 3,908 billion liras (€2.02 billion) and a net profit of 471 billion liras (€243 million). The dividend distributed to shareholders was 90 liras per share. Markets in which it grew most were Korea, the U.S., and Japan. In Japan, the Group pursued a strategy of closing down small points-of-sale and opening new mega-stores.
In May 2001 the company reached an agreement with Txt e-solutions, a company specialized in the design and production of software. The agreement foresees the supply of solutions to make mega-store distribution more efficient on a worldwide basis, through a direct control which would show the changes occurring in every local micro-market and allow a response in real time. The program, known as Txt Sc&Cm For Fashion, coordinates the management of supplier relations with the needs of the distribution network in order to optimize it with respect to consumer demand.
New Mega Stores
September 2001 the Group chooses Bologna for its first mega-store which, thanks to the collaboration with Fabrica, will also be an experimental environment focused on creativity and culture. Also this month the subject of the new communication campaign is voluntary service. The initiative was carried out with the support of UNV, the section for voluntary service at the United Nations. The investment of about 24 billion liras covered press services and bill-posting in 60 countries.
A month later marks the début of a new megastore in Milan, in Corso Vercelli. Soon after there are openings in Palma de Mallorca and Paris, where 2 new flagship stores open on Place de l’Opéra and Avenue des Champs-Elysées, and also in Lisbon. Benetton invests 52 billion liras in three mega-stores in Japan, with one in Kyoto and two in Osaka. The turnover in Japan in 2000 is roughly of 580 billion liras. All together, the Group has 100 mega-stores all over the world, with a target of 300 within 2004, and a distribution network of 5,000 shops scattered in 120 countries. In the previous two years the Group invested about €500 million for the opening of mega-stores in the historic centers of large cities.
2001-2002 Financial Information
At the end of 2001 Benetton had a turnover of €2.098 billion, an EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization&b;) of €398 million and a net profit of €148 million. The result is not directly comparable with the €243 million of 2000 because that was influenced by a gain on the sale of the Formula One Team. In comparative terms, however, the net profit diminished by 6.5%.
According to Forbes in 2002, the Benetton fortune is worth $4.9 billion, corresponding to 62nd place in the ranking of the world’s richest people.
In March 2002 a preliminary agreement is concluded with Viceversa Edizione Design, a company that will create a line for the home under the Benetton brand. Then in July, Benetton issued a three-year bond (debenture loan) for 300 million Euros, the second in the history of the company. Later the company débuted two new stores in Venice and Shanghai.
In February 2003 after opening plants in Croatia, Slovakia and Hungary, Benetton invests $16 million dollars in Tunisia. A new mega-store is opened in Osaka, Japan, with an investment of 1.5 billion yen. It is the tenth since the beginning of 2001. The overall sum invested amounts to 12 billion yen, or about €90 million. In 2001 the turnover in Japan is €200 million, in line with the results in 2000.
At this time, the theme of the new communication campaign is Food for Life, the problem of hunger in the world. Carried out together with the World Food Program, a U.N. agency, it has a budget of €15.7 million.
Sale of all Sports Accessory Businesses
Also, in march a preliminary agreement is concluded with Prime Newco, part of the Tecnica group, and Benetton sold the brand Rollerblade. This is part of the strategy of concentrating on the core business, which is clothing. The value of the deal is €20 million. Then, Benetton sells the Prince brand of tennis rackets and the Ektelon brand of equipment and accessories for badminton to the U.S. private equity fund Lincolnshire. The value of the deal is €36.5 million Euros. The agreement completes Benetton’s exit from the sports accessory business and plans for the new strategic architecture of the company, a return to the core business of clothing.
In March 2003 Luigi De Puppi abandons his position as managing director of the Benetton Group. Then in April, Silvano Cassano is the new managing director of Benetton Group. He joins the company at a historic moment. The unexpected diversification into sports accessories that began in 1997 ended with the recent sale of Nordica, Rollerblade and Prince. Today the company has refocused its attention on clothing.
The Company By 2003
In May the first quarter results show revenues of €351 million, net of changes in the exchange rate, a 3.8% increase. Overall turnover is €444 million (compared to €447 million in 2002), due to the anticipated drop in the sporting goods business. The net profit of €25 million showed an increase of 29%. Retained earnings remained at €76 million, while borrowings amounted to €709 million, against €756 million in the first quarter of 2002. Also, the development of new points-of-sale continues. The Groups has plans to open 22 new stores in Russia this year, and 10 more in 2004. The goal is to reach 100 shops within the end of 2004.
At this point, the Benetton Group is present in 120 countries with its brands United Colors of Benetton, Sisley, the Hip Site, Playlife and Killer Loop. It manufactures more than 100 million pieces a year, 90% of which is made in Europe. The distribution network consists of 5,000 points-of-sale. Benetton Group is controlled by the family’s finance company, Edizione Holding, consisting of a network of companies active in different sectors: other than clothing, which makes up 69.9% of the combined activity, there is the autostrade (highway) division, plus restaurant services, telecommunications, real estate, agriculture, and minority shareholdings in various companies.
In total, Edizione Holding has a turnover of €7 billion and employs 50,000 workers. In eight years the Benetton siblings Luciano, Gilberto, Giuliana and Carlo have assembled, piece by piece, under the umbrella of Edizione Holding, a group which, from its beginnings in the textile sector, has now become a conglomerate. In 1994, textiles represented 100% of the turnover; in 2003 sweaters would represent 30% of the total.
In September 2003 the company débuted several new mega-stores in Hong Kong offering the brands United Colors of Benetton, Sisley, Playlife and Killer Loop. Also, in Birmingham offering the brands United Colors of Benetton, Sisley and The Hip Site. Also, in Paris that takes up five floors inside a historic building of the second half of the 1800s, it sells the United Colors of Benetton and the Sisley Collections. The group’s expansion in Germany continue with the opening of a mega-store in Berlin, on three floors, offering the entire Collections of United Colors of Benetton and Sisley.
In October Joel Berg is the new director of United Colors of Benetton. He is responsible for the brand’s image as well as advertising and the presentation of the Collection. At the end of the year Benetton Group presents its strategy for the period 2004-2007. Sales are expected to grow 25% and the gross operating margin by 40%. In order to attain such results without having a price war, product quality is to be improved. The strategy is based on a strong distribution network and production know-how. 2003 closes with a consolidated turnover of €1.859 billion, a net profit of €108 million and a net financial position of €368 million.
In June 2004 the 15th anniversary of Benetton’s listing in the New York’s stock exchange. Also, the group’s presence on the Internet doubles, with the web-sites www.benetton.com and www.benettongroup.com. The first is a web-site focused on consumers, while the second offers financial information and news about the Group’s communication activity. Then, in December 2004, a new store is opened on the very centrally-located via Maistra in St. Moritz. Covering two floors, it offers the entire United Colors of Benetton Collection.
2004 closes with a consolidated turnover of €1.686 billion, €1.504 billion of which is produced by the casual division. The gross operating margin is €757 million, the net profit is €123 million and the retained earnings is €431 million Euros.
2005 Financial Information
The first quarter of 2005 shows a turnover of €378 million Euros (compared to €381 million in the same period of 2004) and a net profit of €23 million (compared to €28 million in 2004). The retained earnings position improves, with €470 million, against €497 million the previous year. Later, in April a joint venture agreement is signed with the Boyner Group, with the goal of strengthening the Benetton brands in Turkey.
In May 2005 a license agreement is signed with Selective beauty for the worldwide development and distribution of Benetton perfumes. Later in June, the group secures, with a syndicate of 10 banks, a revolving line of credit for €500 million, to be due in 2010. In June a worldwide licensing agreement is signed with Zorlu Holding for the production and distribution of the Sisley Home Collection.
The celebrations featured a fashion show of Benetton’s fall/winter collection, the first time Benetton fashions appeared on the catwalk. The event was held on October 10th 2006 at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Also, there was a month-long exhibition, `Les Yeux Ouverts’ (Eyes Open to the World and the Future), funded by Fabrica, its communications research centre, and its association with the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP).
In February 2008 Benetton launched a new global communication campaign called Microcredit Africa Works in favour of micro-credit in Senegal. This deal was done in partnership with Youssou N’Dour.
Events & Campaigns
OPENING SOON… is a Benetton exhibition featured at Milan Triennale, from January 27 to February 15th 2009. The exhibition is all about the future of the fashion retail space, in partnership with POLI.design and with the contribution of the Fabrica design group. The central theme of the exhibition OPENING SOON… is the present and future evolution of the retail space, an area in which Benetton has been a leading worldwide player ever since its revolutionary debut in Italy in the Sixties.
“This exhibition,” explains Alessandro Benetton, executive deputy chairman of Benetton Group, “is the starting point for research which once again gives voice to the ideas, creativity and talent of young people. It is our conviction that supporting this type of research and merit is a necessary response to the current economic crisis, in order to be ready to seize the moment of recovery as soon as it arrives. For Benetton, design is the essence of the group, the synthesis of the product and corporate culture, a mirror for brand values, and a decisive form of communication with the world”.
Also at this time, Alessandro Benetton, Tina Brown and Arne and Marc Glimcher celebrate the opening of the Biennale d’Arte in Venice with the “Cocktail in Venice” event.
It’s My Time Global Casting Campaign
In February 2010 the Benetton Group launch the IT’S MY TIME Global Casting Competition. In 36 days there were over 65,000 participants, interest from 217 different countries, a website visited by almost four million people with around 60 million pages viewed. Then, the first ever global online casting closes: the 20 winners will fly to New York and work with world-famous photographer Josh Olins for the autumn-winter 2010/2011 campaign, to then appear in the press, on the internet and on billboards around the world.
Also at this time, Biagio Chiarolanza and Franco Furnò are new Directors with executive powers. A year later, You Nguyen, is appointed United Colors of Benetton’s new Chief Merchandising Officer and Creative Director.
On September 6th, 2011 Benetton opened its doors to host a triple, simultaneous event in its concept stores in Istanbul, Milan, Munich and on the web to present the overall series of 15 art installations. Created by Erik Ravelo, a Cuban artist at Fabrica, these art pieces embody the idea of colour and of a woollen thread linking all humankind. Benetton launches its fall-winter 2011 collection under the sign of art
In November 2011 the Unhate Foundation launched with a worldwide communication campaign. This foundation was created as part of the new strategy of corporate social responsibility, as well as being a channel for the Group’s social engagement. Its objective is to contribute to fighting the culture of hatred, in line with Benetton Group’s deep-rooted values, through global communication campaigns. Several of the ad’s feature images of world leaders kissing. This was a very controversial campaign, but won the Cannes Ad Festival award in 2012.
In 2012 Benetton Group delists from the Milan Stock Exchange.
In 2013 the company launched an iconic fashion campaign to celebrate the upcoming launch of the Spring/Summer 2013 collection called “Color”. The campaign featured 9 top celebrities, including big names such as Charlotte Free, chef Matias Perdomo, actor Dudley O’Shaughnessy, Hanaa ben Abdesslem. The celebrities embody 9 different colors: red, purple, pink, orange, yelllow, green, blue, black and white. Also, each color reflects their personality and mood, and through the campaign, Benetton delivered one message to its audiences: “To be natural and free.”
In the same year, Benetton Group joined with Greenpeace, and made detox commitment to help eliminate all the releases of hazardous chemicals through its global supply chain and production by 2020.
In 2014 the Group launched “On Canvas”, a new store concept that makes the product the real protagonist of the historic United Colors of Benetton brand. First locations: Milan, Moscow and Berlin. The new store concept has an innovative structure, designed to be welcoming, functional and dynamic. It is the evolution of the Benetton store, conceived as an encounter between its history and modernity, between quality and customer care, which is central to an authentic design, technological and emotional experience. The central element of the concept is the frame, which serves as a lightweight, simple but solid and almost invisible structure in which seasons, collections, colours and materials are created. The frame, which is a symbol of tradition and craftsmanship, becomes a symbol of innovation enabling transformations within the store: changing the canvas materials, the canvases themselves, the spaces creates infinite, possible solutions for a brand that is always developing.
Also during 2014 the Benetton Group SpA gained a new Board of Directors including Gianni Mion appointed as non-executive Chairman and Marco Airoldi appointed as Chief Executive Officer and General Manager.
Benetton for Women Empowerment
On November 25, 2014 Benetton releases the New United Colors of Benetton campaign in support of UN Women, on the occasion of the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The goal of the campaign by United Colors of Benetton, devised and created by Fabrica, is also to advocate international awareness of the need for concrete actions to support women and prevention programs, beginning with efforts to promote an education for young men and women that develops a culture based on recognition, respect for difference and equal opportunities.
In 2015 Benetton launches the Benetton Women Empowerment Program, a long-term initiative to support women’s rights worldwide. The WE Program (Women Empowerment Program) is a long-term, Benetton Group sustainability program aimed at supporting the empowerment of women worldwide. To fulfill the goal of gender equality and women empowerment, Benetton Group has identified five key priorities in accordance with the UN agenda.
Then in 2017, to celebrate International Women’s Day, 017 Benetton released a brand new campaign “United by Half” to encourage women all over the world to unite and fight for gender equality. This campaign is debuted in India and achieved incredible results. The campaign video was viewed over 7.7 million times on YouTube.
Since 2016 Benetton has started to shift their brand identity with a new creative platform called, Clothe for Humans. This campaignaims to celebrate “the beauty of everyday moments and everyday emotions”. Also, the company has been moving from shockvertising to be ‘never shocking’, however it must surely deserve a place as one of the most effective companies ever to splash its promotional message across a billboard or magazine spread.
Later in September, Benetton organized an exhibition to emphasize its core of identity, color. Benetton Group’s arts and communication research center curated the I See Colors Everywhere exhibition on display at Milan’s Trienniale Through October 2017.
Giuseppe Borsalino (1834-1900) nicknamed “u siur Pipen” (Master Joe) toured through Italy and France to learn about the hat industry. He earned a job at the Berteil hat factory in Rue du Temple, Paris, where he worked for around seven years before becoming a qualified master. Through this journey he gained informations and, in 1857, he established the Borsalino hat factory in Alessandria, Italy. He opened the first artisan workshop for the production of felthats.
In 1897 the Master visits the Battersby hat-making factory in London and legend has it that “without being seen, he dips his handkerchief in a vat of “tar”, and takes back to Italy the English secret for making perfect bowler hats“.
The success continued after Giuseppe’s death, and his son Teresio (1867-1939) took over. At this time the company already had 1,000 workers and produced 750,000 pieces a year. Unfortunately, in the 1940s hat sales declined due to a loss of importance, so the company began to struggle.
Later, during the 1980s the company was completely restructured and began to manufacture a clothing line. Later, in December 1997 Borsalino Spa of Alessandria established Borsalino South, which in January 1998 acquired the hat factory Sabino D’Oria in Maglie.
Not just a hat, but the symbol of a style and world. Other hats with a similar shape are called Borsalinos, as are some obvious imitation. Synonymous with a certain style, this hat has been worn by very famous actors such as Bogart, Redford, and Sinatra and Marcello Mastroianni. In the seventies the company granted the use of its name to two cult films starring Alain Delon and Jean-Paul Belmondo: Borsalino (1970) and Borsalino & Co. (1974).
In the early 2000s, the Museo del Cappello was inaugurated, which was meant to enhance the history of the renowned hat through exhibitions, events and publications.
The process of produce iconic Borsalino felt hats requires at least 7 weeks of pure craftsmanship. This process starts with fraying, then fur blowing, basting, pre-fulling, inspection, steeping, fulling, hood assembly, dying, shrinking, stiffening, scotti-blocking, umicing, second blocking, second-inspection, flanging, finishing. The long-established process includes both machines and hand-working and has been passed down from generation to generation.
Felt models require more than 50 manual steps and 7 weeks of processing. Also, the straw models, which are manually intertwined, can take up to 6 months for each single hat.
On the other hand, Borsalino’s famous straw hat Panama was created in 1835, and it has turned into a timeless legend. Borsalino artisans need six months to finish just one Panama hat, and only using vegetable fibers of the Toquilla palm.
During the following years, the aim of the brand was to enlarge its production by introducing shoes, helmets and even a kids line. Moreover, Borsalino initiated collaborations with other brands such as Italian Indipendent, Marcorossi and Brands O.I.
The company has new branches in the USA and Europe. Borsalino Fedora hats are very popular among Orthodox Jews and are the largest suppliers to Jews in the United States. In spring 2006 a specific museum was inaugurated with the Alessandria Municipality partnership, to remember the historical steps that characterize the Borsalino company.
2013 marks the beginning of the brand’s downfall; in fact, according to what the local newspapers declared at the time, the brand was accused of evading taxes. This was due to a great number of unregistered sales, that gave a total of €4 million without counting another €2.2 million of Iva. From that moment to date, the brand has been looking for new investors that can provide new capital in order to restore the huge debt. The crisis is still persisting at the beginning of 2017.
Since 2016, the company has been managed by a participated fund of Italian and foreign investors, with the aim of developing the brand internationally and strengthening its role as a protagonist in the world of craft luxury.
September 2016 Borsalino announced their collaboration with Nick Fouquet. He created two exclusive capsule collections, one for SS17 and one for FW17 season, dedicated to both men and women. The collections blend Borsalino iconic flair with Fouquet’s flamboyant soul, in order to deliver something original and unique to all hat lovers.
160 Years of Manufacturing
The company currently produces a wide variety of products such as hats, ties, clothing, watches, perfumes and even old fashioned bicycles, and the company tries to keep all the charm and class from last century’s fashion. 2017 marks the 160 years anniversary of Borsalino, to celebrates industrial excellency, Italian Ministry of Economy launched an official stamp on April 4th.
Also, there was the Borsalino Itinerant Made to Measure ExperienceTrunk, which symbolized the values and the soul of the legendary brand founded in Alessandria on 4 April 1857. The Borsalino Itinerant Made to Measure Experience Trunk will be presented for the first time in France at Le Bon Marché, the historical department store, from September 2 – October 22, 2017 to celebrate the Italian Exhibition “La Famiglia”.
Casadei is an Italian shoe factory that was established in S. Mauro Pascoli, Forlì Italy at the end of the 1950s as an artisanal workshop with particularly skilled production. The brand journey as the global footwear leader is anything but ordinary. If you see their success trajectory from an aerial overview, you’ll find that their growth arc is streaked with design excellence and entrepreneurial gut.
The label’s quest for age defying and bold designs began in the year 1958. Quinto and Flora Casadei are the protagonists of Casadei’s spirited tale of two cordwainers who made footwear for the inbound tourists in the eastern Italian coastline. Together, they built the legacy of their humble shoe label in a workshop of two. Tucked away in San Mauro Pascoli in Forli, the provincial town of Romagna Rivera, the Casadei pair brought in the beginning of a new art form of shoe-making, in a region primarily known for agriculture and renaissance frescos.
The 1960s saw the development of a more formal business structure, the beginning of exports to Europe, the U.S. and the Far East, and the start of a full-fledged line dedicated to evening wear and a Collection of bags. By the late sixties, the whispers of Casadei’s detailed luxury spread beyond the Italian frontiers. After dressing feet of strangers on vacation with their exotic offerings, the family-run business expanded in terms of production scale and international presence. The company gained structure and channelled its focus on catering exports to larger sections of European market as well as the United States of America.
First Platform Shoe
They elevated a level above from their initial line of sandals and launched the first series of platform shoes, a popular and trendy choice in the eccentric decade of the ‘60s. Early seventies allowed the two shoemakers to shift their base from the homely workshop to an industrial facility. This change triggered the journey of a new kind of shoe-speech.
Taking the platforms as their prototype, they experimented with the idea of lace-up and slip-on generation of platforms. Further, they added a dose of bravery in design by creating a line of platforms covered with fabrics sporting delicate embroidery. Later, they switched gears to introduce an era of leather pumps balanced on low flared heels.
By the end of the seventies, their instinctual understanding of versatility and utility kicked in with the earliest version of Casadei boots that can be zipped down from thigh-high, to knee-high and finally to short booties. With a new prototype in market to be tried on, they also expanded their presence in Asian market. By 1977 they were now open for business in the Japanese market.
The Famous Casadei Pump
In the early eighties, the label expanded its operation to the Middle East. After the roaring feat in the feet fantasy expedition with their boots and platform shoes, Casadei turned to the category of pumps. Their rendition of pumps saw an imaginative exploration with polka dots and velour tulle, finished with high conical leather heels dipped in golden hue.
In a matter of no time, the pumps secured a spot in their hall of fame, and till date is considered an iconic product by the label. Designed to adapt the graceful curves of the feminine feet, the label continues to dabble with different fabrics, finishes and embroideries to create newer identities with passage of time. Towards the end of the eighties, the label was quick to adapt to the sportswear trend by building a dictionary of hybrid sneakers and football boots with heels.
Like most family-run operations, every company witnesses the arrival of a new protagonist in the story. For Casadei it was appointment of Quinto and Flora’s son, Cesare Casadei, as the next creative director of the business. Cesare took office in 1994 to continue Casadei’s ongoing journey. Cesare’s first-hand experience in production amplified the promotion of their ‘Made In Italy’ brand image at an international level. Cesare’s arrival also marked the beginning of unisex styles. Subsequently, he also signed off the manufacturing of casual footwear, each spectacular in their own regard.
In early 2000s, the label made a decision to relocate its Milanese showroom to Via dell’Annunciata, that was eventually remodelled to become the Milan headquarter for the company. At this time, the brand became a favourite amongst a growing mass of celebrities. Hollywood’s A-listers were photographed wearing Casadei iconic creations, making the label become a significant name to be reckon with in the fashion circuit. Casadei also became a popular choice for various fashion publications when globally recognised photography talents shot the brand’s advertising campaigns.
In October 2002 the company, which employs 200 people, opened a new single-brand shop in the heart of London, at no. 12 Beauchamp Place, in the Knightsbridge section. In the firm’s worldwide activity, Italy is the second market after the U.S., and has 400 points-of-sale, 4 of which are single-brand shops (Milan, Florence, Rimini, and Ferrara). With Germany, it is the most important in Europe. Two more boutiques are opened in Russia, in St. Petersburg and Moscow. The company’s choices for expansion are supported by the excellent turnover, which in 2001 reached €32,604 million, an increase of 14.82% in comparison to the previous year.
The Federation Of Italian Footwear in 2004 launched a limited edition of postage stamps to celebrate and commemorate the legacy of Casadei. This very move reflected a mark of respect for an Italian label that represents the ideology of fashion forward footwear.
Casadei turned 50 in the year 2008. To commemorate the brand’s half a century worth of eye-catching designs and artisanal glory, photographer Ellen Von Unwerth was called on board. The result culminated itself in a grand book featuring Casadei’s footwear through the years, followed by an exhibition at Milan’s La Triennale. Together, they encompassed the celebratory tones of the brand’s golden jubilee.
With every progressing year the label opened its door to a new territory. The beginning of 2010s sees Casadei launching into a full throttle mode in the landscape of brand expansion, with the opening of boutiques in Rome, Cannes, Dubai, Casablanca and finally in New York. Apart from expansion, the year 2010 itself marked the momentous presentation of Casadei heels and shoes during the Milan Fashion Week.
After conquering the brick and mortar setups, the label discovered the digital world with the launch of their website in 2012, followed by the arrival of their e-commerce boutique in 2013. Later in 2015, Cesare Casadei and Architect Marco Costanzi gave Milan its first footwear concept store, followed by the unveiling of a new boutique in the exclusive Albemarle Street, Mayfair London. In the same year, the company re-launches its online shopping portal, a step taken in the direction of establishing new aesthetics and vision.
Casadei kickstarted 2017 with the Super Bowl game in United States of America. Lady Gaga, who was chosen to deliver the prestigious half-time performance was spotted in the famous Casadei blade stilettos during the pre-game show. Also, Victoria Beckham is frequently seen wearing the Blade Stiletto, a favorite of celebrities because its claimed to be the comfiest of all brands.
Till date, Casadei continues to be a story of an entrepreneurial swiftness and smartness, one that is hallmarked by expert craftsmanship and well sought-out innovation. It is a testimony of Italian heritage and vision, all summed up with gracious use of vibrant colours, blended with artisanal values.
Bulgari is a dynasty of Italian jewelers that started with Sotirio Bulgari, a native of Epirus, Greece. He began his career as a jeweller in his home village Paramythia. He arrived in Italy in 1879 and brought the goldsmith tradition of ancient Greece. In 1885, he opened a shop in Rome, on via Sistina, offering pieces made with both ancient and modern goldsmith techniques. The business developed and, 20 years later, the firm found a new headquarters in via Condotti.
Starting in the mid 1900s, the production took on precise and original physical characteristics. This is the result of the creative commitment and entrepreneurial intuition of Sotirio’s two sons, Costantino and Giorgio, who had joined the company’s management in the early 1930s. Costantino, interested especially in collecting, started to gather artistic objects. Such as icons, carved jades, to deepen his study of the ancient goldsmith’s art. He wrote the book Argentieri, Gemmari e Orafi (Silversmiths, Jewelers and Goldsmiths), a fundamental work for knowledge of the Italian goldsmith tradition. Giorgio was put in charge of the commercial management of the company.
At the end of the 1940s BVLGARI introduced the Serpenti bracelet-watches, with coils in Tubogas or in gold mesh. This style is still popular today. In the meantime, the jeweler’s boutique became a favorite meeting place of the aristocracy, of rich American tourists traveling to Rome, and of the cinema’s international jet set. Introducing the cabochon cut and the use of colored stones set in yellow gold, Bulgari launched a new style of great inventive freedom. The emblem of tradition was instead carried by the ancient Greek and Roman coins that were offered as the central pendants in necklaces and link bracelets shaped like a gas pipe, or as decorative motifs in rings, brooches, earrings, and furnishings in silver. The impeccable manufacturing, refinement in composition, and unmistakable designs turned these jewels into real cult-objects.
Third to Fourth Generation
In the 1960s, the company was joined by Costantino’s daughters, Anna and Marina, and also by Giorgio’s sons, Gianni, Paolo and Nicola. After Giorgio’s death in 1966, his son Gianni led the company as co-chief executive with his cousin Marina. These last two are the present heads of the company, together with their nephew Francesco Trapani, who is general director. In the 1970s, the company began to expand on the international market, opening subsidiaries in New York, Paris, Geneva, and Monte Carlo.
In 1985, Gianni resigned as CEO and in 1987, he left the family business after selling his one-third stake in the company to his brothers Nicola and Paolo. The brothers were named Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the company and nephew Francesco Trapani was named CEO. Trapani’s goal to diversify the company started in the early 1990s.
The 1980’s and 1990’s are marked by an era of opulence. Bulgari’s perfect adaptation to the contemporary world is reflected once more in its masterpieces. This years witnessed the birth the desired exemplary Parentesi; first line of modular jewellery, Bulgari-Bulgari; shapes inspired by the Roman Colosseum, and Quadrato watches. More examples of Bulgari’s adaptation to the world’s current opulence was the experimentation of new materials.
The year 1991 saw the début of the Naturalia Collection, which was inspired by the animal and vegetable world. For the occasion, the film Anima Mundi was produced, with the proceeds given to the World Wildlife Fund. The 1990s saw the creation of men’s and women’s accessories, small leather goods, foulards, ties, and eye glasses.
In 1996 Bulgari started an experiment with new materials, in the jewellery line called Chandra, in which porcelain was used together with gold. In 2001 the firm launched Lucea, a collection that was innovative in style and characterized by a fluid weaving together of gold and precious stones. The advertising for it featured the model Gisele Bündchen.
The year 2002 saw the birth of Bulgari Hotel & Resorts, a joint venture between Bulgari and Luxury Group, the luxury hotel division of Marriott International. They envisioned a series of luxury hotels, the first of which would be in the center of Milan, in via privata Fratelli Gabba, near Piazza Scala and the Brera. In Autumn 2003, the company launched the women’s fragrance Omnia, the eighth creation in the perfume line for men and women under the Bulgari brand.
In 2009 two new collections, Bvlgari New, and B.zero 1 were presented. Bvlgari New was characterized by a gold circle engraved with the iconic double logo. The materials used were 18-carat yellow or white gold, either alone or combined with onyx, mother-of-pearl, or with bright pavé diamonds. The new B.zero 1 is fresh and feminine, thanks to its colored gems. Peridots, blue topazes, garnets, citrines and amethysts with vivid colors. The collection has a particular transparency combined with thin chains and pendants that give life and movement to each piece. In addition, the iconic watches of the Italian fashion house are renewed with three new dials in white, pink and brown mother of pearl. What makes the piece special is the diamonds combined with the strap, proposed in three different colors.
Officially in 2004, Bulgari’s first hotel opened at Via Privata Fratelli Gabba in Milano, besides the prestigious La Scala theatre, in a tastefully renovated 18th-century Milanese palazzo. Later, in 2005 the brands hotels international expansion began establishing a new hotel in Bali, followed by the ones opened in London and Shanghai in 2012 and 2015 respectively. A further expansion is scheduled for 2017 in Dubai.
#Raise Your Hand
Bulgari proudly celebrates its philanthropic, global partnership with Save the Children by launching the new campaign #RAISE YOUR HAND. In 2009 BVLGARI has partnered with Save the Children. The company helps fund the nonprofit’s activities with proceeds from the Save the Children jewellery collection, custom-designed jewels, inspired by the iconic B.zero1 line. Bulgari has raised over $50 million in the past seven years for this charity project. And the purpose of #RAISE YOUR HAND 2016 is to emphasize the importance of children’s health.
LVMH Acquires Bulgari
During the first quarter of 2011, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton acquired the majority of Bulgari S.p.A. shareholdings. In 2014 in pursue of conserving the Bulgari’s heritage, a “unique palace” named DOMVS, in reference to the brand’s major source of inspiration and actual home, was opened to the public that serves as an exhibition and art gallery.
Situated on the second floor of the brand’s boutique at Via Condotti, DOMVS provides a unique storytelling of Bulgari’s stylistic evolution through iconic pieces such as the ones collected for the prestigious Heritage Collection. This temple also displays images and belongings of iconic divas that once embrace the brand such as Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren, and Anna Edberg. In early 2015, Bulgari started a long-term collaboration with one of most celebrated design school Central Saint Martins for supporting young fashion designers through design competitions.
In 2016 Le Gemme Men, a new collection of male luxury fragrances, was born, inspired by the tradition and excellence values of Haute Joaillerie. At the same year in July, Bulgari launched a new high jewelry collectionFesta, the spectacular collection has over a hundred jewelers and watches inspired by Italian art de vivre. In particular, the Palio necklace and bracelet are more than exceptional, and stand for the famous horse race in Siena.
In 2017, Rome’s National Museum of 21st Century Arts and Bulgari join together and started a new project called MAXXI Bulgari Prize to support young contemporary artist. An international jury will spotlight and choose features young talents and present their work at National Museum of 21st Century Arts. Today, the name Bulgari expresses in just one word the concept of classic jewelry modeled according to the new dictates of contemporary taste.
From conquering the growing French artistic power in the 20’s, accommodating to resources droughts due to wars in the 40’s, to seducing new markets with creative and innovative designs and brand expansions, Bulgari has earned the right to be called the top of the luxury jewelry industry.
Borbonese remains as an Italian luxury brand which constantly cultivate its perspective to meet the needs of nowadays’ contemporary society. Borbonese is an established “Made In Italy” player who values its rich heritage and tradition, craftsmanship, and always strive for perfection.
Borbonese started as a humble workshop that produced jewels, accessories from ribbons to bows, gloves to hats, and shawls. The company supplied the most prestigious tailors in Turin, a city that was, at the time, very aware of couture and a small Italian capital of fashion. In 1910 Lucia Lorenzoni Ginestrone, an established milliner, took over the workshop and Borbonese was born.
Later in 1950, thanks to the help of Lucia’s son, Umberto Borbonese Ginestrone, along with his friend Edoardo Calagno, they worked to help run the family business. Borbonese successfully developed an eclectic and sophisticated aesthetics in creating jewellery made of innovative forms and peculiar materials.
Collaboration With Luxury Fashion Houses
Through 1960 Borbonese became highly influencing and gained trust from various luxury fashion houses to create numerous accessories to complement their collections. It was the creation of jewellery combined with great imagination and exquisite workmanship that made the brand so popular. The ability of the company to establish a harmonious connection between clothing and jewellery is why the most important fashion houses want to work with it. Among the most prestigious fashion houses were Fendi, Valentino, Ungaro, Galitzine and Yves Saint Laurent, who appreciated the inspiration, experimentation and beauty of its costume jewellery.
During the 1970s, Borbonese began the partnership with the Bologna-based expert in leathergoods, Redwall, owned by Rossi family. This well-grounded collaboration brought a revolutionary line of high quality leather bags which combine light, unlined and restructured forms with a unique softness and resistance. At this point, the firm found their distinctive element of its griffe in a new material that was soft like lamb skin. With colors in a beige or honey color, and treated to reveal a “partridge-eye” dot effect, in bags, cases and a wide range of leather goods. Also, some of their items are manufactured with plasticized fabric, and those showing a dot effect called “graffiti,” in beige, very dark brown, blue, light blue, and black. It was the birth of the iconic O.P. or Occhio di Pernice (Eye of Partridge).
Borbonese launched its infamous bag Luna to commemorate the landing of the first man on the moon, followed by Sexy, Tango, and Mambo which remains as a cult classic until today. Borbonese is the pioneer to affix its logo on zippers along with the distinctive rivet which become an everlasting signs of the brand. Much imitated, but never equalled, Borbonese bags are light, practical, always elegant, and now a classic. The most acclaimed photographers during this era, including Giampaolo Barbieri, Helmut Newton, and Satoshi Saikusa contributed for Borbonese’s advertising campaigns.
Starting from 1980s, Borbonese invented an actual lifestyle and became one of the most notable Italian brand by expanding its production of ready-to-wear, accessories for both men and women, footwear, fur products, and sophisticated line of home furnishings to confirm the brand’s status in the luxury industry that creates a true style of Global Living.
In 1992 the Sexy Bag celebrates its 20th birthday. At the big party in Tokyo, it is presented in a limited edition of 100 pieces with accessories in 18-carat gold. A year later, after twenty years of working together, Redwall, which operates in the same field of bags and leather accessories, takes over the brand. Then, in 1999 the first Borbonese women’s prêt-à-porter Collection produced by Redwall is presented for the Autumn-Winter season in Milan. On March 27th of that same year the French-American family Arpels, current owner of 20% of Van Cleef & Arpels, acquires 50% of the company. That same day at a shareholders’ meeting the corporate name is changed to Rossi 1924 Spa.In September 2000 a line of women’s wear is added to the accessories Collection.
Borbonese Acquired by Van Cleef & Arpels
The year 2001 ends with a break even and a turnover of €21 million. In 2002 the brand appoints creative director, Alessandro Dell’Acqua. She designs a line of women’s clothing that is presented during Milano Moda Donna and meant to accompany the accessories line.
Officially in November, Arpels purchases the remaining 50% of the company, acquiring the shares owned Dario Rossi and Alberto Vacchi. Claude Julien Arpels becomes managing director, while Alberto Vacchi remains on the board of directors. For 2004, the Arpels family considers making a strong effort in the North American and Far East markets.
In 2009 Borbonese presented the Spring/Summer 2010 collection during Milan Fashion Week in the via della Spiga store. This was a successful event in collaboration with contemporary artist Amedeo Martegani, who transformed the boutique’s windows into a theatre and formed the perfect scenographic backdrop which tell a story of seven Samurai, inspired by the sharp cutting that creates the form of O.P. bag. Accompanied by the sound of sabers, slashing knives, and metal sound by musician Giuseppe Ielasi, the installation really caught the attention and created a novel ambience throughout the store.
In 2010 to celebrate 100 years of Borbonese, the brand initiated a special project in collaboration with Roy Lichtenstein Foundation to create the Art Bags, a limited collection consists of twelve bags that reproduce some of the pop artists masterpieces. This exclusive collection was exhibited at Triennale, Milan. Also, Borbonese 1910 was launched, a collection of iconic Borbonese bags dedicated in honour of the centenary celebration under the creative direction of Gabriele Colangelo, a talented young Italian fashion designer with an innate propensity for craft fur and embroidery.
In 2013 a red sealing-wax Borbonese logo became a distinguished symbol that introduces a new direction of the company. It’s a decision to stay focus on the core business of the brand, creating impeccable collection of bags and accessories, derive from never-ending research into new materials and techniques that make every product unique and special. Iconic bags of Borbonese were reinterpreted by using new combination of leather and metal-crafting techniques to give a modern and contemporary impression.
In September 2015 at Milan Fashion Week, Borbonese launched a new book titled “Inspirations” edited by Ginevra Elkann and published by Rizzoli in its headquarter on Via Monte di Pietà. In this book, Borbonese poetically and imaginatively presented to the audience of how the brand always took artistic inspirations from nature, which has characterised in the production and its signature Italian craftsmanship.
Later, in November the brand became the sponsor of the Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli in Turin for the exhibition featuring American pop artist, Ed Ruscha titled “Mix Master” curated by Paolo Colombo. This exhibition consisted of photography, painting, and books by Ed Ruscha which tell a story about the transformation of American life over the past half-century.
In 2016 Borbonese sponsored the exhibition titled “Riflessioni / Reflections” featuring Rosemarie Trockel and the Turin collections. Also, in September they opened their new flagship store in Corso Matteotti 8, presenting a new concept that reinforces the brand’s image in Italy.
In April 2017, Borbonese made significant investment on its Global Living collection and presented a new home collection, as well as furnitures during Milan Design Week. And in order to reinforce Borbonese’s logo, all the structures of products are designed with round lines. Later in September, Borbonese launched a new footwear collection for both men and women, and presented its spring/summer 2018 footwear collection during international footwear show.
Borbonese remains as an Italian luxury brand which constantly cultivate its perspective to meet the needs of todays contemporary society. Borbonese is an established Made In Italy brand that values its rich heritage and tradition, craftsmanship, and always strive for perfection. Never ending research for the latest technology and being innovative, Borbonese always combine precious materials and refined techniques with masterly crafting to emphasise details and characteristics of each unique product. Borbonese is “The New Spirit of Tradition”.
Damiani, a leading company in Italian jewellery manufacturing and trade sector. The brand was established in 1924 with Enrico Grassi Damiani, he began designing and creating jewels with diamonds, and soon he became favorite jeweler to the noble families of Valenza Po, the center of the Italian goldsmith tradition.
Enrico Damiani was acclaimed in the italian jewelry industry as the highest expression of classicism, balance, and preciousness. And his son, Damiano, continued the family business, with his creativity and entrepreneurial spirit he designed jewels with a more contemporary style which remained unaltered over the time.
Damiani D. Icon Ring
Since the beginning each masterpiece created has conveyed the absolute reflection of a woman who believes in inner beauty, elegance, knowledge, and power. A lot of investment was made in research and development as a result of company’s clear-sighted and conscientious character. This power of taking decisions by considering the future is the potion of today’s clairvoyants and Damiani is one of them. The jewelry art evolved with a focus on white gold, as the princely metal of the Collections.
After a time, the firm became a corporation. In 1960 the company started to expand industrially and invested a huge amount of money to build their research and development department. Then, by 1976 the company won the first Diamond International Award with their “Bocca di Squalo – Shark Mount” bracelet. It has received several De Beers Diamonds International Awards, which are the Oscars for jewellery.
From 1980-90 the communication strategy of the brand was changed completely. Celebrity brand ambassadors became the primary source for their new communication strategy, and new collaborations with famous photographers were established for their campaigns. During the 90’s, the brand opened its first international branches in Switzerland, United States, and Japan. During this time the advertising spokesperson of the griffe was Isabella Rossellini.
In fact, Damiani is among the first jewelry companies in the world to introduce the use of testimonials since the late 1980s. Over the year’s Damiani’s impressive and awarded advertising campaigns have been shoot by internationally renowned photographers and featured some of the most famous stars including; Isabella Rossellini, Brad Pitt, Nastassja Kinski, Milla Jovovich, Jennifer Aninston, Gwynet Paltrow.
The Third Generation
In the early 1990s the third generation entered Damiani. Silvia Grassi Damiani, born in 1966, is in charge of purchase of pearls and global communication. Giorgio Damiani, born in 1971, is responsible for export, development of all the collections and the purchase of precious stones. and Guido who was born in 1968, starting work as sales director, and now the chief executive officer.
Over the years, other prestigious brands were added to Damiani, including Salvini, which was born in 1986, and Alfieri & St. Jhon, recognized as a brand in Italy since 1977. In 1997, Damiani International BV was established, with headquarters in Amsterdam and an operating branch in Switzerland, which also controlled Damiani Japan K.K. (Tokyo, 1998) and Damiani USA Corp. (NY, 2000). Each branch represented a real operative base with all the typical functions of a structured and strong international group.
In 2000 Bliss was created, launched, and promoted through New Mood S.p.a., which was controlled by the group. In 2001, with the aim of optimizing business processes, it was decided to transition to using the ERP/SAP information system and the group’s budget was subjected to a voluntary certification.
In April 2002 the Damiani Manufacturing Company, led by Simone Rizzetto and his brother Christian, receives the ISO 9001 quality certification. This certification, recognized at national and international levels, recognizes the quality of precious metals, gems, and pearls selected by expert gemologists according to the place of origin, manufacture, and finishing of the jewellery.
In October with 130 linear feet of shop windows and two floors at the corner of via Montenapoleone and via Sant’Andrea in Milan, a new store is opened. This store follows the concept of other stores already opened abroad in Tokyo, Berlin, Dubai, and Honolulu. The project is by the architect Antonio Citterio. Soon there are four stores in Milan, with a total of 25 boutiques all over the world.
Also, after several failed negotiations, the Damiani Group acquires a significant minority stake in the Pomellato Group. The vice president and designer of Damiani, Silvia Damiani, declares her strong confidence in the decades-long experience of Giuseppe Rabolini, the president of Pomellato, whose turnover is about €55 million. For its part, the group closes the year 2001 with a turnover of €219 million and profits of €3.1 million. In 2002, investments remain steady at €36 million.
At this time, Damiani enters the watch industry. The men’s watch Ego Oversize, manufactured in Switzerland, is entirely designed by the griffe‘s style department. There are three versions with a total of seven models.
In February 2003 the brand opens two new stores, in Kiev and Moscow. Also, Damiani collaborates with the soap opera The Bold and The Beautiful. Some scenes are shot in Portofino. For the occasion, during a presentation, the actors and personalities show off Damiani watches and jewellery. June marks the opening in Paris of the international exhibit Diamonds and the Power of Love, organized by Diamond Trading Company. There are unique pieces from the most important international jewellers. Damiani presents the Chakra necklace, a two-section cascade of diamonds symbolizing the union between man and woman.
The firm opens a new boutique on Place Vendôme. In the boutique there is an exhibition of unique pieces created by Damiani that have received the De Beers Diamonds International Award, which is the prestigious Oscar for jewelry, 18 times, which 4 where won by Calderoni, a historic Milanese jewelry brand, acquired by the group in 2006. Damiani holds the world record of De Beers Diamonds International Award. The Damiani group is owned entirely by the family, now in its third generation. In December the firm celebrates 80 years of prestige in the world of jewellry with an exhibition. On display are 8 exclusive and unique pieces, including a necklace composed of 1,370 diamonds with 100 carats.
In 2005, after ending the previous year with revenue of €180 million, Guido Grassi Damiani, the general manager of the group, talks about the future with an eye on exports and aims at increasing the turnover, of which 80% presently comes from the Italian market. Later, in 2007, the group went public and was listed in the Milan stock exchange, a very important step in its growth, affirming Damiani as one of the leaders in the international jewelry market. In 2008 Damiani acquired Rocca, the only franchising at the high end of the Italian market, and one of the very few in the world.
On April 3, 2009 the Damiani Shareholders Meeting decided on the new Management Board (till March 2012, when the budget had to be approved) was as followed: Guido Grassi Damiani is President and CEO, Giorgio Grassi Damiani and Silvia Grassi Damiani Vice Presidents and Executive Directors, Stefano Graidi Executive Board Member, Giancarlo Malerba Non-Executive Director, Roberta Benaglia and Fabrizio Redaelli Non-executive and independent directors.
In November 2010 The Clean Water project, which was developed in collaboration with Sharon Stone, achieved its first important result. This project was created to build clean water wells to South Africa where an important diamond supply is located. The Maji Collection was designed for this project to collect money from its sales.
In 2011 the Company became the first jewelry brand to reveal its prices on the internet for complete transparency. At this time, Damiani owned 55 flagship stores all over the world, located in the main streets of Italian and international fashion locations including Milan on via Montenapoleone, Rome on via dei Condotti, Paris on Place Vendôme, NY on Madison Avenue, and Tokyo on Ginza. In August Damiani implemented special project for the women who suffered from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, where a selection of must-have products and special collections were put on sale. The raised money was donated to Japanese Organization for International Cooperation in Family Planning.
In 2012 Damiani won the Robb Report of the Best 2012 award with their Burlesque Bracelet. Next year, with their Vulcania necklace, the company was granted second time to the Best Annual Fine Jewelry Award. The necklace that took more than 530 hours to finish and became a piece of art with its diamond, placed in the traditional Damiani ‘apparent chaos’ setting.
On February 2012, Damiani announced a strategic agreement with Itochu, a Japanese international group: this contract made Itochu part of the capital of the Damiani Japan K.K., with a minority stake of 14%, through a private capital increase. Later in May, an exclusive distribution agreement was concluded with Hendgeli, the leader of watches and jewelry distribution in China. By 2014 Damiani was the first jewelry brand to land in Mongolia, Ulan Bator, in the Central Tower Mall.
For their campaigns, Damiani always collaborates with strong women like Sharon Stone, Chiara Mastroianni and Sophia Loren who portrayed the values of the brand. Only a piece created intricately by the hands of a passionate, dedicated and deep-rooted creator can portray the values of the Damiani women.
In April 2013, Sophia Lauren took part in a series of events in Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Seven new pieces were added to the existent Sophia Lauren collection and launched in the tour.
In June 2014 the company celebrated its 90th year anniversary with an exhibition. Damiani’s 18 awarded masterpiece jewelry pieces were exhibited along with the prizes and a special collection in Florence from 19th of June to 7th of September.
Next year in September, Damiani participated in the Italian Open Golf Tournament as a main sponsor. The reason behind this sponsorship is that the values of the company match with the ideology of the sport. Both believe in the power of hard work, focus and being prepared.
In February 2016 the brand launched a collaboration with Microsoft in which they produced a precious smartphone case for the new Microsoft Lumia 950. Also, the company was granted the Ethical Company Prize due to their various social projects.
Currently, the brand is a winner of 18 awards, has 61 direct and 17 franchised stores all over the world. And the Damiani Group ended the 2017 with consolidated revenues from sales equal to 161.5 million euros (+4.8% at current exchange rates compared with 2016).
Diesel was established in 1978 by Renzo Rosso together with other textile entrepreneurs in the Veneto. He chose this name because it is easy to understand and is pronounced the same around the world. At that time, Diesel was also considered as an alternative energy and so the word stood as a synonym to alternative taste in fashion. In 1985 Renzo Russo acquired full control of Diesel.
In 1991 Diesel launched its first advertising campaign called For Successful Living. The campaign did phenomenally and established a reputation for innovative marketing. Then, in 1995 the brand launched its own website, it was amongst the very first fashion companies to do so. Later, in 1996, the brand opened its first few flagship stores in New York, Rome and London.
In 2000 Diesel acquired Staff International, an Italian manufacturer and distributor of Maison Margiela, Marni Men, Dsquared2, Just Cavalli and Vivienne Westwood. Two years later Renzo Rosso became a majority shareholder of Maison Martin Margiela. In July 2000 Diesel Iberia, the 12th foreign subsidiary, expands further in the Spanish market. In Barcelona, it opens a new showroom with offices in Plaza de Cataloea. In Spain there are 350 single-brand boutiques and 12 more are expected within 2004. The turnover in Spain is equivalent to 17.6 billion liras. Later, Renzo Rosso, number one and president of the group, announces that Diesel’s global turnover for the year is expected to be 700 billion liras.
Creative Director: Kosta Murkudis
In September Kosta Murkudis, a young Greek designer, is appointed creative director of New York Industrie, the casual clothing line produced by Diesel International. In addition to creating the men’s and women’s collections, the designer will supervise the advertising campaign. He appears on the cover of W, the monthly of Women’s Wear Daily, an honor that fell to Tom Ford in July.
Diesel receives the Made in Italy award, a prestigious American prize within the fashion industry in January 2001. The company intends to expand further in the U.S. It was reported sales increased by one-third over the previous year. Also, by 2004, somewhere between 10 to 35 new shops are expected. At Pitti Bimboin June 2002, the company presents Diesel Kids, a celebration of denim. Every imaginable kind of denim is presented, with infinite variation, from stonewashed to torn and color-sprayed models.
Supporting Young Talent
In July 2002 the company is a sponsor and partner of the Trieste agency Eve, which has conceived and organized the first presentation of an award for young creative designers, called It’s One (International Talent Support), which is to be followed each year by It’s Two, It’s Three, etc. Wilbert Das, the creative director of Diesel, has worked with Victor Bellaish on the selection of 33 finalists from all over the world. The award, won by Einav Zucker, consists of €13,000 with which the winner can start his own atelier and create a new Collection for the following year’s competition. The Diesel Award, for €2,500, which went to Daniele Controversio, offers the opportunity to produce and distribute in the best Diesel shops a mini-Collection of 5 pieces labeled with the name of the young designer.
OTB Group Acquires Maison Margiela
In 2002 Renzo Russo founds the OTB group which became the parent company of fashion brands Diesel, Maison Margiela, and companies Staff International, specialized in ready-to-wear production and distribution. OTB group acquires the maison Martin Margiela. This Belgian designer, who went to school in Antwerp, already an assistant to Jean-Paul Gaultier, works for Hermés, but since 1988 has also had his own maison in Paris. But he needed a strong partner to help him develop further, and he found one in Italy, in the person of Renzo Rosso. The head of Diesel intends to promote a five-year development strategy for the brand.
In September 2002 DieselStyleLab, the men and women’s avant-guard line, chooses New York for the first time and returns to the runways of the Bryant Park Pavilion after several years away, for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. The line was launched in 1998 but, after having presented in London (September 1998, October 1999) and Paris (October 1999), it undergoes a period of static presentations during Milan’s Fashion Week.
Forbes magazine lists Diesel among the 32 top luxury brands. The return to the formula of runway presentations and the choice of New York also indicate a strategic change and particular interest in the American market. The Collection is often inspired by the aesthetic-cultural contrast between East and West, as in the typical black leather jacket manufactured in a Japanese fabric with kimono-shaped sleeves.
Back in 2001, Diesel’s U.S. turnover hit $93 million, an increase of 43%. By October 2002 the company receives “high profits with double-digit growth in sales, an increase of 10% over the €365 million of 2001, which had already increased 38.8%.” This is the Diesel group forecast for 2002, as declared by Renzo Rosso at the Milan Fashion Global Summit. The group plans a thorough review of the points-of-sale, in which the single-brand shops, of which there are 180, including 95 company-owned, are to be favored over the multi-brands.
In June 2003 Daniele Controversio, winner of the Diesel Award 2002 in Trieste, joins the creative staff of DieselStyleLab. Also, the women’s shoe Collection by Diesel receives a prize at the Sportswear International Fashion Awards (SIFAS). Diesel shoes are manufactured under license by Global Brand Marketing Inc. of Santa Barbara, Calif., which sells its products in more than 130 countries. It owns the Pony and Dry-shod brands and is a licensee for Nautica, Mecca, and Xoxo shoes.
In September 2003 Australia is Diesel’s new target market. The first store opens in Sydney. Another one is to open soon in Melbourne. In December The turnover is reported €780 million, of which 85% comes from abroad. The gross operating margin of 22%, with a net profit of €74.8 million, almost hits 10%. The cash flow is €120 million. Renzo Rosso’s motto;
“Fashion companies must be directed by their managers. Real industrial managers must lead their companies and make every single area more professional. That’s what I did.” As to decentralization, he maintains that “some production cannot continue here: it is the price market’s rule. If you go too far away, you won’t survive. The important thing is that the brains stay in Italy.”
Diesel Marketing Strategy
The brand portrays itself as someone who questions current trends, while allowing their own taste to lead them. The message communicated is usually a mix of irony, black comedy and tongue-in-cheek humor that garners both praise and backlash. This combination of rebellious image with the classic 1950’s American culture has introduced some of the most timeless pieces, such as, biker style, leather jacket and the denim.
“We think to be cool is better than to be big”, said Rosso. It is really time for the brand to become cool and fresh again and so the current rebooting strategy of Diesel is not about change; it’s about going back to the origins. The interest of the brand lies in culture, music and people. The challenge lies in breaking down people’s existing perceptions of Diesel, instead make them feel extraordinary.
The cohesive collection of Diesel sets itself apart from the rest by introducing an ‘alternative taste in fashion’. Their main power lies in the transformation of the year old working class look into luxury. They thrive on breaking the societal stereotypes through its gender“less” style statement that provides an individualistic voice to its audience.
Diesel’s reboot of the entire brand is about elevating the quality and revamping the product, both within and beyond denim. It’s about bringing fresh air and modernity to the collections. The biggest change is in ladies’ apparel, an innovative mix of leather with a feminine touch. The brand is challenging its own knowledge to bring a full-blown collection that is appropriate for the advanced contemporary market.
Through 2004 the company’s communications strategy continues. A new advertising campaign has also been promoted. “There are 30 acid, dreamy, daily trips, the so-called day dreams,” explains Antonella Rossi, the marketing director. “They are the dreams of each one of the 30 protagonists who present the pieces of our Collection; but then, in the video, these dreams shift towards rather uneasy, ironic, atmospheres.” Irony, innovation, unpredictability, creativity, desecration: these are the strong elements of Diesel’s communication.
Then, in October Renzo Rosso sells two thirds of his Only The Brave Srl shares, the family holding which controls the Diesel group, to his oldest sons, Andrea and Stefano. “They asked me to teach them how to manage a company: I’m happy because I have always feared that one day they may prefer to stay out of the family business.”
By December, Diesel, the owner of Margiela, intends to double the turnover of the Belgian maison in the next five years (the present turnover is about €30 million). Excellent competitive and economic-financial results for the group. The turnover is €1,004.2 million (€909 million from the Diesel brand), up 27.5% over the €788 million of 2003. The pre-tax results are excellent: €204 million, against €128.8 million in 2003, with a net profit of €112.2 million, an increase of 50% compared to the €74.8 million of 2003. The net borrowing has gone down, from €167.5 million to €48.8 million. At December 31st 2004, the group had 173 directly managed stores, of which 21 opened in 2004, while the workforce increased from 2,561 in 2003 to 3,348 in 2004.
In recent years, Diesel has reorganized its market strategy, positioning the brand in a premium segment, investing in research and quality, reorganizing the distribution structure, and reducing the world-wide points-of-sale from 10,000 to 5,000. Also excellent are the results for Dsquared, a brand acquired in 2001. The Martin Margiela brand has also grown consistently.
In 2005 the conquest of the Spanish market continues. After the opening of a first store in Barcelona in 2002, there are openings in Bilbao, Madrid, and Valencia, and a second one in Barcelona. Also, in May a new store opens in Hong Kong.
In 2007 Diesel signed a partnership with L’Oréal’s luxury product division to launch the first line of fragrances, which is called ‘Fuel for Life’. More collaborations were done the following year with Fiat and Adidas.
Diesel Black and Gold
A new premium sophisticated clothing collection, Diesel Black Gold, was launched in early 2008 at the New York fashion week. In the same year Diesel launched its home and textile collection. And later the OTB group acquired Victor & Rolf. Greek designer Sophia Kokosalaki started to play primary role in the collection from FW 2010, her first debut as Diesel Black Gold female designer was in New York on February 2010.
In 2010, the companies most controversial campaign “Be Stupid” won a Grand Prix in the Outdoor Lions category at Cannes but was banned in the U.K. by the Advertising Standards Authority. Same year, a deal was signed with the Italian Ducati team of MotoGP. Diesel created its presence by creating race suits and clothing for the Ducati team.
OTB Group Acquires Marni
In 2013 Nicola Formichetti was appointed as the new Artistic director of Diesel, and later in 2014, he unveiled his first fall/winter collection in Venice. Meanwhile the OTB group, parent company of Diesel, bought 61% stake in Italian brand Marni, and in November 2015, OTB acquired the totality of Marni.
2016 marks brand’s 30 years of presence in Japan. To celebrate the brand held an exhibition with Diesel’s key denim look from 1978 to now, furthermore, brand launched three collaboration collections exclusively distributed in Japan.
In April of 2017, Diesel has revealed its charitable collaboration with supermodel Naomi Campbell in aid of her Fashion For Relief initiative, called Child At Heart. This project featured colourful love hearts and ladybird designs created by children attending the Diesel HQ kindergarten in Italy.
The company is currently in the mindset to reboot the brand with the mission to recapture the hip factor that made it great in the 1990s. Currently, OTB is the parent company of Diesel. Along with Maison Margiela, Marni, Paula Cademartori, Viktor & Rolf, and Brave Kid, specialized in childrenswear production and distribution. Also, Staff International, manufacturer and distributor of DSquared², Just Cavalli, Maison Margiela, Marni and Vivienne Westwood.
In 1953, Renzo Rossetti, along with his brother Renato, opened their first shoe factory in Parabiago, which later developed into their brand known as Fratelli Rossetti. Then, the company was officially established in 1955 by the Rossetti brothers, who were born in Sanguinetto, near Verona. The brothers first created sport shoes then moved on to formal shoes.
Renzo began working at the age of 13, and was a typographer, mechanical draftsman, and artisanal producer of shoes for cyclists. Success came through the artisanal perfection. Renzo exclaims,
“We have always worked as if we had to personally answer to the customer for every pair of shoes we sell him.”
This includes innovation applied to a classic style. In the book I Mass-Moda. Fatti e Personaggi dell’Italian Look (Spinelli Publishers, 1979), Adriana Mulassano says “Men, poor things, as to shoes, were really in a bad way.” The market wouldn’t offer anything other than laced shoes with fringes and ‘derbies’, in black or brown calfskin. There were no new seasonal styles and no imagination. And so they started: the banning of laces, the promotion of loafers, the launch of the first very soft unlined shoes to be worn in summer without socks, the marketing of boots, higher heels, and the introduction of colors through an ageing process that would make them more acceptable.
Signature Moccasin Brera
In 1961, their signature moccasin, Brera, was created. Success was such that in 1966 Fratelli Rossetti was forced to expand and build a very modern production plant.
In the 70’S, Fratelli Rossetti, collaborated with the much celebrated Italian designers like Valentino, Armani, and Pierre Cardin, combining creativity and production results.
The first women’s line was created in 1973. Single-brand boutiques followed one after another in Genoa, Venice, Milan (at via Matteotti-via Montenapoleone), Bari, Rome, Paris, and Chicago. Diego, Renzo’s son, joined the family business in 1978. Under his direction, Fratelli Rossetti was the first Italian fashion label to open a boutique on Madison Avenue in New York. Today he is company Chairman.
Dario began working in the style department in 1981, he attended an artistic university with courses for shoemaking. He is an art lover who collects antiques and is passionate about vintage cars and searching for inspiration for new creations to add to the collections. In the Nineties, Luca graduated from Milan’s Bocconi University, and was already involved in the management side of the business. At this time, all three brothers were involved in the business.
The Flexa Shoe
They recently created the Flexa shoe, a 18 piece hand-assembled which adjust to the foot’s movement thanks to unusual flexibility and a removable foot-strap.
The historic shoe factory in Parabiago, near Milan manufactures more than 400,000 pairs of shoes a year, with a turnover that in the late 1990s was about 70 billion liras. Some 50% of the production is sold in Italy and the rest is exported. Each year about 10% goes to the U.S., where the company has been active for more than twenty years and where, in June 1999, it opened a large showroom on Madison Avenue in New York.
In May 2002 the Flexa Sailing model is created at the explicit request of Mascalzone Latino (Latin Scoundrel), the Italian boat competing in the America’s Cup. It has all the characteristics requested by the team members. The first prototypes are tested by the crew during training at Elba and in Auckland. The model goes on sale in July 2002 in two versions: the Flexa Sailing Professional, with the same technical standards as the shoe worn by the crew in the America’s Cup, and Flexa Sailing, less high-tech, for fans of sailing in general. The shoe is available in red and blue, the colors of Mascalzone Latino, and in a sand color.
In November, shoes, ankle boots, and desert boots are created in the brightest colors: red, green, and yellow; flats and heels are created for singing and dancing. In the same style as the costumes by Elisa Savi, these shoes have been designed by the Rossetti brothers for the American musical Fiddler on the Roof, which received three Oscars in its film version and had more than 3,000 performances on Broadway in New York, in London, and in Japan.
The Fratelli Rossetti Family
By 2003 the company employs 260 workers, and is one of the most important in the field regarding turnover, number of employees, and international image. The entire ownership is still in the hands of the Rossetti family. The president of the group is Renzo Rossetti, who sets long-term strategy. His three sons have other operating functions: Diego, 46, in the company for more than twenty years, is the marketing and commercial director and coordinates all the communication activities in Italy and abroad; Dario, 44, in the company for more than ten years, follows coordination, planning, modeling, and purchases; Luca, 37, a graduate of the Bocconi University in Milan, is the general manager.
In February 2003 Fratelli Rossetti opens its first outlet space in Foxtown, a large multi-brand store in Mendrisio, Switzerland. The strategy chosen by Fratelli Rossetti at the beginning has not changed over the years and can be summed up in a concept that is still extremely effective even today: maximum harmony between technology and tradition, maximum equilibrium between quality and price. At this time in Italy, there are 13 boutiques. Abroad, the company’s main locations are in New York, Paris, London, Brussels, and Hong Kong.
Renzo Rossetti Museum
Renzo Rossetti opens his own museum with a rich collection of ethnicshoes accumulated over a period of 50 years in Parabiago. He began the collection at an early age, before World War II, and very much desired to see it have its own space. The museum can be visited by appointment. It has 3,000 pairs of shoes that are perfectly maintained.
In 2005 after the opening of a third boutique in Paris, on Rue de Grenelle, comes the début of a new franchise store in Dubai. The company has a turnover of €55 million in 2004.
In 2004 and 2008, they opened a franchise store in Dubai. As China started being the new luxury market, 2010 saw the brand opening its stores in China.
In 2008 Fratelli Rossetti, by now a golobal brand, reinforced its international strategy by investing in the Asian market with the opening of a store in Hong Kong, followed by the opening of sales locaitons in Beijing, Hangzhou, and Shenzhen. In 2010 the group closed out the year with 14% growth in revenue with respect to 2009 (72 million in sales). In 2011 it grew another 10% with respect to the previous year.
In 2011, Fratelli Rossetti collaborated with the Californian Designer George Esquivel, combining the quality of the brand with the innovative colour matches, for their Spring/Summer collection. The same year itself, a virtual store was launched for online sales. In 2012, the brand teamed up with NBC Sports for Super Bowl, providing commentators covering the football event with footwear.
Fratelli Rossetti “Made to Measure”
In the same year itself, they launched ‘made to measure’ service. Fratelli Rossetti launched a limited edition collection for the online platform shoescribe. The ‘Toledo Experience’ was a live show to the audience showcasing the famous hand-colouring technique, happened at the Montenapoleone in Milan in 2013. To strengthen the brand’s presence in Far East, a 100 square meter store in Taiwan was opened, in the Mall of Taipei in the same year.
In 2015, the brand proposed ‘A tribute to Brera’ their iconic moccasin. The same year the brand introduced Dandy, the derby in mirror versions. Also, #sexyinflats was a project done, dedicated to women who can feel sexy even without their heels on. The year was closed with a turnover of €72 million year, which was 4% higher than the previous year, showing the brand has the correct direction for growth.
Fratelli Rossetti, has an aim for 2018, which is to expand itself by opening 11 stores in China. With a wide presence, the brand has expanded while retaining its values and at the same time catering to the changing demands of the fashion and the consumer.