MILAN — “Shocking with out being intimidating.” That’s the aim Marco Pirone set for the brand new course of Italian model Harmont & Blaine, which is rooted in a Mediterranean interpretation of the preppy look.
The manager, who joined the corporate final August as chief government officer, has nice ambitions for the ready-to-wear label, which he thinks “has to draw new customers with a extra modern imaginative and prescient.” For Pirone — who was beforehand government vp of Kiton, which he joined from Louis Vuitton, the place he was CEO of the Italian division — it’s undoubtedly not a matter of age, however extra of perspective. “We’re fortunate to have very loyal customers, who know what to anticipate from us. That’s nice however not sufficient. We wish to evolve and grow to be extra interesting for a wider vary of individuals with a brand new give attention to the worldwide markets,” he mentioned.
In line with this imaginative and prescient, Harmont & Blaine, which is celebrating its twenty fifth anniversary this yr, is launching a capsule assortment of 25 shirts crafted from sustainable cotton and linen whereas at Milan males’s vogue week on June 21 will debut a capsule assortment developed with Milan-based designer Andrea Pompilio.
“Andrea has demonstrated to be a designer who is ready to interpret the DNA of a model giving it a signature cool twist and that’s precisely what we count on from this collaboration,” mentioned Pirone, revealing that the capsule can be unveiled through digital content material filmed in Naples, the model’s hometown.
“What I like about Harmont & Blaine is the colour sense, its shirting heritage and its Neapolitan origins that basically outline the model’s style and spirit, and that I personally share with the corporate,” mentioned Pompilio. “Our spontaneous encounter mirrored in an concept of males’s wardrobe that may create a dialogue with a brand new viewers. It’s an enriching problem for each of us and I wished to outline it by way of the idea of Made in Naples.”
The collaboration with Pompilio, which has been signed for 2 seasons, will improve the steps that the model, recognized for its dachshund brand, is taking to inject a brand new spin into its important collections. “I feel that the primary indicators of this new course are already seen within the winter assortment, however it’s within the subsequent spring lineup the place customers can be actually in a position to see the distinction,” Pirone mentioned.
Harmont & Blaine, which in 2014 acquired an funding from funding fund Clessidra, presently generates about 80 % of its gross sales in Italy. “Getting extra worldwide is one other essential aim that we set,” mentioned Pirone. “Within the subsequent three years, we count on to have worldwide markets accounting for 40 % of our enterprise.”
Whereas the model has strong distribution in Spain and Mexico, the corporate remains to be not current in China. “Ranging from 2022, we’re approaching the market with a retail presence in Beijing or Shanghai,” mentioned Pirone.
In response to the CEO when the corporate may have strong bases within the Far East, the main focus can be placed on the US, the place the model is already registering sturdy on-line gross sales. “America, together with Spain, are the second marketplace for our e-commerce,” mentioned Pirone, who doesn’t count on to open straight operated outlets within the U.S., the place Harmont & Blaine is current with a boutique in Miami operated by an area associate.
An organization with a robust retail part, accounting for over 60 % of its enterprise, Harmont & Blaine, which operates 70 outlets in Italy, will this yr kick off a plan to refurbish its most essential shops. “The revamping of our vogue proposal must be supported by the appear and feel of our boutiques,” mentioned Pirone, who can also be working to bolster the model’s ladies’s providing. Whereas 90 % of the corporate’s gross sales are of males’s merchandise, the manager defined that in some outlets, 25 % of the shoppers are ladies, primarily making purchases for his or her male mates, husbands or sons. “Even when we stay a males’s label, we wish to be extra interesting for these ladies, providing them merchandise that replicate the investments we’re making in our core enterprise.”
Closely reliant on its retail community in Italy, in 2020 Harmont & Blaine registered a 30 % lower in revenues in comparison with 2019, which the corporate closed with gross sales of 95 million euros. “I feel we’ll return to pre-COVID-19 ranges in 2023,” Pirone mentioned, highlighting that 2021 will nonetheless be tough and that 2022 can be marked by a gradual return to normality. “Truthfully, I don’t count on any rebound impact within the vogue trade, in a different way from the meals and journey trade,” he mentioned.
Harmont & Blaine is the official vogue associate of AC Milan, offering the soccer group with its off-the-field uniforms. “It’s a really prestigious partnership and we’re pleased with the return that it’s bringing us,” mentioned Pirone, including that the style firm has created a devoted capsule assortment below license for the soccer group.
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