Blumarine to Boost Wholesale Distribution With Riccardo Grassi – WWD


Blumarine is gearing up to relaunch its business.

The spring 2021 show, scheduled for Sept. 23 in Milan, will officially kick off a new phase for the Italian brand, which in November was acquired by Marco Marchi, founder of contemporary label Liu Jo, through the newly formed Eccellenze Italiane holding.

After the fall 2020 season, which served as a test, the upcoming runway show will mark the debut of Nicola Brognano as creative director of the brand.

“I think that Nicola, who is 29, will be able to bring to Blumarine its young and fresh vision, as well as his romantic and very feminine design aesthetic, which is very close to the brand’s DNA,” Marchi said. According to Marchi, despite the difficulties of the moment, Blumarine will find itself in a privileged place in the upcoming months.

“History taught us that after a big recession, people look at high-end, luxurious and maximalist products and we can definitely say that Blumarine is the opposite of a minimal label,” he said.

While Marchi revealed that he didn’t modify the industrial assets of the company, he drastically revised its commercial strategy. He closed the flagships in Milan and Forte dei Marmi — the company also controls a store in Rome that is still open — and shut down the showroom on Milan’s Via Manzoni to team with the Riccardo Grassi showroom that will handle Blumarine’s worldwide distribution.

While the company will try to enlarge its wholesale business across Europe and the U.S, Marchi decided to maintain the brand’s retail network in the Far East, consisting of more than 20 stores across China, South Korea and Taiwan.

At the same time, Blumarine launched its revamped online store this week.

Defining 2020 as an “annus horribilis,” Marchi declined to provide forecasts for the short and medium term. When he acquired the company in November, he said he was expecting in five years to increase Blumarine’s turnover to 50 million euros.

Over the past few years the business of Blumarine’s parent company Blufin, which was controlled by the Tarabini family, slowed down and at the end of 2018 the company signed an agreement with the Italian unions to initiate a procedure of “Cassa Integrazione,” in this case, a year of temporary work suspension using special public funds.

Marchi, who with the Liu Jo brand generates revenues of around 400 million euros, through the Eccellenze Italiane vehicle last year also acquired a 15 percent stake in Italian retailer Coin SpA, which operates 40 flagships in Italy and 100 stores under the Coincasa banner in the country and abroad.





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