Accessories Headlines

Breitling Opts Out of 2020 Baselworld, Rolex to Expand Fair Space

PARIS — In a setback for Baselworld, Breitling has opted out of next year’s edition of the fair, citing the event’s timing, which was moved in coordination with a rival show in Geneva.
Moving quickly to demonstrate there are also signs of life at the fair in Basel, Switzerland, Baselworld organizers said that Rolex plans to expand its own stand into space previously occupied by its sister brand Tudor, while setting up an additional stand for Tudor in the central Hall 1.0.
The “decisive factor” in Breitling’s decision to skip the fair next year was “first and foremost the new Baselworld date at the end of April, which cannot be reconciled with our planning,” said Georges Kern, Breitling’s chief executive officer, in a statement. The executive has decided to hold a summit event and a series of roadshows to drum up business normally conducted at the fair.
Seeking to stem an exodus of brands that have left Baselworld over the past two years, show organizers, in a coordinated effort with the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, or SIHH, rescheduled the events to take place back-to-back, allowing international visitors to hit both fairs in one trip. SIHH is scheduled for April 26 to

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Rebag’s Charles Gorra Discusses the Power of Resale

Charles Gorra, founder and chief executive officer of Rebag, the digitally native luxury resale business with five stores, believes several massive trends are powering the resale market.
The first driver is that Millennials are seeking sustainable products; the second is value shopping, particularly after the recession, and the third is that the sharing economy is rising and people want to be asset-less. Witness the success of Lyft and Rent the Runway, he said.
“Consumers want to be smart with what they own,” said Gorra, noting that the resale market is becoming mainstream and heading to $40 billion by 2022. The current size of the resale market is roughly $20 billion.
Gorra believes that the trajectory of resale shopping is similar to what happened with online shopping 20 years ago. He recalled that in 2000 when Net-a-porter launched, people were skeptical about whether customers would buy luxury online. Fast-forward 15 years, and you see Net-a-porter, Yoox and Chanel investing in Farfetch .
“We think resale is going through some of these motions,” he said. “The same skepticism that was around online about two decades ago has somehow replicated itself in that theme. In reality, there’s been a huge shift toward the resale mind-set post-recession.”
Specifically, he

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Manolo Blahnik Prepares to Take Control of U.S. Business

LONDON — Manolo Blahnik International Ltd. is planning “significant strategic investment” in its North American operations as it prepares to take control of business in the region after 37 years.
The company said Tuesday it would reveal more details in due course. It will take the reigns of the North American business on Jan. 1, 2020.
As reported Monday, long-term licensee George Yurgaitis, president of Manolo Blahnik USA, and Anthony Yurgaitis, vice president of the company, announced that the two parties have chosen not to renew their license.
Kristina Blahnik, global chief executive officer of Manolo Blahnik International Ltd., is looking forward to what lies ahead. “These are very exciting times for Manolo Blahnik. The USA and Canada are a core part of our business, which we are fully committed to.
“We thank George and Tony for their success in building the North American foundations and we look forward to announcing plans for significant growth and investment,” she added in a statement.
“George and Tony have been very good friends for decades. We have shared a great deal over the years and on behalf of the Blahnik family, I wish them well for the future. Change can be hugely beneficial and this heralds a promising

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Via:: https://wwd.com/accessories-news/footwear/manolo-blahnik-prepares-to-take-control-of-u-s-business-1203101983/

      

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Influencers, Celebrity Remain Key Parts of ShoeDazzle Growth Strategy

ShoeDazzle is perhaps finally finding firmer footing with its own brand identity.
The business, part of TechStyle Fashion Group and started in partnership with Kim Kardashian, has been built on pop culture with its heavy use of celebrity and influencer collaborations. It now appears to be putting a finer point on that through its assortments under the leadership of recently appointed general manager Petra Braun Fukuda.
“We have done celebrity partnerships throughout the years and I think what is recently happening is that we expanded this strategy of having a much wider range of influencers and people we want to have collaboration partnerships with,” said Fukuda, who most recently served as senior vice president of the brand and has also worked on sister brand JustFab since joining the company in 2010.
ShoeDazzle is part of the TechStyle family of businesses, which also includes Fabletics, Fabkids and Savage x Fenty.
The focus on only A-list celebrities, in the vein of people such as Gwen Stefani or Keke Palmer (both of whom ShoeDazzle has worked with in the past), with millions of followers isn’t the sole emphasis. Instead, Fukuda said, the company is looking for influencers across a broader range of categories, ranging from lifestyle to

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Italia Independent Names New CEO

MILAN — Italia Independent has a new chief executive officer, Mario Pietribiasi.
In his new role, he succeeds Giovanni Carlino, who joined Italia Independent in November 2016.
Pietribiasi has a deep knowledge of the eyewear industry. He covered several roles, including country manager, sales director EMEA, ceo for Asia Pacific and global sales director, at Safilo, which he joined in 1987. In 2012, he founded Hong Kong-based eyewear firm Koru.
Italia Independent’s main investor Lapo Elkann will maintain his role of president of the company he cofounded in 2007. “I’m happy to continue guiding Italia Independent in the next few years and with the support of Mario Pietribiasi, I’m sure we will be able to execute the relaunch plan we have already kicked off,” he said.
In February, investment fund Creative Ventures Srl acquired 25.44 percent of Italia Independent.
Creative Ventures Srl is controlled by the fund Talent EuVeca through AVM Gestioni Sgr and investment fund Centurion Global Fund Sicav. Italia Independent is listed on the AIM Alternative Market of Capital segment of the Milan Stock Exchange.
Creative Ventures Srl agreed to increase Italia Independent’s capital by 6 million euros through the issue of 2.6 million shares valued at 1 euro each. At the same time, Elkann

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Manolo Blahnik Splits With Longtime U.S. Partners

NEW YORK — George Malkemus, president of Manolo Blahnik USA, and Anthony Yurgaitis, the company’s vice president, have not renewed their long-running license with the British luxury shoe company.
A statement sent by the Manolo Blahnik U.S. business to WWD said: “After meeting with Kristina Hulsebus, Mr. Blahnik’s niece, who, along with her in-house counsel and financial adviser, offered unacceptable terms, George Malkemus and Anthony Yurgaitis, on behalf of MBUSA, have chosen not to renew their license agreement of 37 years.”
Speaking with WWD on Monday afternoon, Malkemus clarified that he and Yurgaitis’ license ends in December, and they informed staff of their license’s approaching conclusion Monday morning.
Malkemus says he met with Hulsebus on Feb. 25 and that their license agreement was “always renewable.” He added that “ideas have not always been in sync and [the relationship] sort of came to a conclusion,” but declined to go into details about he and Hulsebus’ differences.
“This was not hinged by a financial disagreement,” he clarified.
Representatives from the Manolo Blahnik headquarters in London declined comment.
According to Malkemus, who with Yurgaitis has steered the company’s U.S. business through prosperous times, including its prominent feature in the “Sex and the City” television series, the U.S. accounts for

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Via:: https://wwd.com/accessories-news/footwear/manolo-blahnik-splits-with-longtime-u-s-partners-1203100750/

      

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Leather Goods Brand Hobo, Model Karen Elson Partner for 4th Installment of Artisan Series

Handbag brand Hobo has partnered with model and artist Karen Elson on a limited-edition collection of bags.
The collaboration is the fourth installment in the brand’s Artisan Series, where the heritage leather goods brand works with female artisans across all genres on small batch collections. The Karen Elson assortment is made up of 55 bags, priced from $228 to $458, and use one-of-a-kind hand-painted illustrations by artist Costanza Theodoli-Braschi. The designs are centered on a theme called “Oh My Goddess.”
“My inspiration for the bags was to celebrate women by using symbols of femininity to empower,” Elson explained. The bags will include painted artwork such as snakes, wild flowers, fauna, pearls, beetles and phrases. “Cosi’s [Theodoli-Braschi’s] artwork beautifully exemplifies these historical gender connections,” she added.
“I am most inspired by the original, authentic creators who redefine how we view things and do it with individuality and confidence,” said Hobo design director and founder Koren Ray. “I was incredibly excited to see Karen put her touch on our leather bags and the Oh My Goddess collection. As a woman and mother, Karen’s vision surrounding female love, acceptance and empowerment speaks to me and became the perfect narrative for this collection.”

Bags from the Hobo x

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Chaumet Opens Temporary Shop On Rue Saint-Honoré

PARIS — Chaumet has opened a temporary shop on the Rue Saint-Honoré, the buzzy, upscale thoroughfare running along the Right Bank in Paris, a stone’s throw from its Place Vendôme flagship which is undergoing renovation.
Located at 392 Rue Saint-Honoré, the pop-up store is positioned to tap into the flow of luxury shoppers that flock daily to the neighborhood’s high-end destinations including Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Boucheron flagships.
The LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned label is refitting the various floors of its Place Vendôme address, with plans to add bas-relief tiaras and carved wheat stalks to the ground-level store, while also refurbishing the workshops and salons on the upper floors of the house.
High-end jewelers around the world are revisiting store formats to make them welcoming, distinctive and picture-ready for social networks in order to stand out in a digital era, where choices have multiplied for consumers, adding pressure on brands to find ways to stand out.
Chaumet earlier this year ventured into the Left Bank of the Paris capital, a neighborhood known as a stomping ground for intellectuals as much as a shopping destination, where it hosts exhibits and events, open to the public.
The first exhibition, which opened in February, explored the relationship

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Watchmakers Double Down on Classics at Baselworld

BASEL, Switzerland — Reflecting uncertainty in the Swiss watch industry, tensions bubbled under the surface of this year’s subdued edition of the Baselworld fair. Generations mingled, with a number of labels offering fresh takes on classic models while a new crop of managers pushed tentatively into the future, roping in technology to build instruments for sport — handy on the wrist, tied to the smartphone.
Organizers, who are laying the groundwork for a different strategy and have moved the dates next year to coincide with the end of Geneva-based Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie — in a coordinated effort with the rival show — had flagged it as a transitional year.
But transitions tend to be awkward, and ongoing speculation about who will take part in the future cast a cloud over the event, even if this show was anchored by a roster of industry heavyweights — LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton labels Bulgari, Hublot, Zenith and Tag Heuer, along with the sector’s leading brand Rolex, Patek Philippe and Chanel.

Baselworld’s central plaza
Courtesy

Crowds were thinner, with visitor numbers down 22 percent to 81,200 and a similar drop in exhibitors to 520, felt by the extra space left by the departure of Swatch Group labels,

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Fall 2019 Accessories Trend: Boots on the Ground

“Boots marched down the runway of every city this season,” said Roopal Patel, senior vice president and fashion director of Saks Fifth Avenue.
Combat, knee-high, metallic, animal prints and all-weather varieties finished off many of the best collections for fall 2019.
“There were very few heels on the runway, the idea of the sneaker was gone,” Patel added. “By the time we got to London and Milan, it just felt like such a boot season.”
“The chunky black Chelsea boots at The Row were a true favorite and an early indication of the footwear trends we’d see on the fall runways after New York,” added Elizabeth von der Goltz, global buying director of Net-a-porter.
Boots are a perennial buy for retailers, but it’s not always an obvious sell.
“It was hard for me in seasons past. Yes, we always bought boots, but you didn’t know what they were going with because people were buying leggings and lots of skinny pants,” explained Jeffrey Kalinsky, vice president and designer fashion director at Nordstrom. “But the clothes this season are going to call for a boot more than in seasons past.”
Indeed, longer skirt lengths — and the cool culottes Hedi Slimane paraded at Celine — call for to-the-knee

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Via:: https://wwd.com/accessories-news/accessory-trends/fall-2019-accessories-trends-boots-1203096583/

      

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Mindy Kaling Shares Love for Shoes in DSW Campaign

Mindy Kaling is adding some star power to DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse.
The actress, comedian and writer is appearing in a new campaign illustrating the power of finding the right shoes. The campaign, which breaks today, will run through 2020 across TV, digital, social, events and Kaling’s social media channels — where she has 3.9 million followers on Instagram alone. It’s the first time DSW, which sells footwear and accessories for women, men and children, has featured a celebrity in its advertising.
The campaign features Kaling in 60- and 30-second spots showcasing how DSW has the perfect shoes for every situation and mood. This includes snakeskin booties that inspire the need to get back together with your ex-husband (even if you don’t have one), to chic mules that transport you to your next vacation to the Amalfi Coast, to sandals that make you dream of sipping an umbrella drink and napping on the beach.
Kaling will also be featured in 15-second videos.
In a telephone interview, Kaling said this was her first fashion ad campaign, although she has done an ad for Nationwide that ran during the Super Bowl in 2015, as well as ads for American Express.
But DSW was fun because Kaling used

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The Initiatives in Art and Culture to Honor the De Beers Group’s Feriel Zerouki

Feriel Zerouki, senior vice president of International Relations and Ethical Initiatives at the De Beers Group, is being honored with the Initiatives in Art and Culture Award for Leadership in Responsible Practice in Jewelry.
The IAC presents the award annually to a recipient of the jewelry industry, or part of a jewelry-focused organization, that has made a transformational contribution to ethical sourcing and responsible practices in the worldwide gem and jewelry trade.
“Both personally and professionally, Feriel embodies all the attributes that we seek in an honoree, and this award is so well-deserved for all that she has done to champion and further responsible practice and ethical supply chains worldwide,” said Lisa Koenigsberg, president and founder of Initiatives in Art and Culture.
Zerouki originally joined De Beers Group in 2005 and in 2009 she was appointed Best Practice Principles Manager, where she was tasked with embedding the organization’s sustainability program.
In 2018, De Beers Group, lead by Zerouki, partnered with the Diamond Development Initiative to launch GemFair, a pilot program that aims to create a secure and transparent route to market for ethically source artisanal and small-scale mined diamonds. The initiative combines on-the-ground training and engagement with miners on ethical standards with a digital

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F.P. Journe Unveils New Concept in Miami

Petrossian caviar, jamón Ibérico and vintage Moskovskaya vodka are just a few of the delicacies and rare spirits offered at Maison F.P. Journe here, the Swiss watchmaker’s unique, umbrella concept in the Epic hotel on the Miami River. The company relocated its longtime Miami office for North American operations to here, reintroduced retail to the market — its Bal Harbour boutique closed last year — and added in-house watch production and an experiential hospitality element.
Customers neither have to buy a watch, nor be in the market for one to gain access to Bar Journe and Terraza Astondoa, an outdoor lounge with La Flor Dominicana cigars that was designed by Spanish yacht builder Astilleros Astondoa. They don’t even have to be F.P. Journe collectors.
“We all know retail isn’t what it used to be,” said Pierre Halimi, general manager of Montres Journe America LLC, regarding the firm’s trifecta for 21st-century engagement: experiences, expertise and excellence. “It’s not just about a transaction but about discovering something new and getting away from the Tiffany counter display concept.”
Ever since the brand’s first store, which opened in Tokyo in 2005, founder François-Paul Journe has aspired to emulate a home with its “bookshelf and bar” prototype. In

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Paris Jeweler Lydia Courteille Hits Dallas

Paris couture jeweler Lydia Courteille’s two-day visit to Urban Flower Grange Hall in Dallas was her first in “at least” 10 years, so she was a bit stunned to see every client adorned in her designs at a welcome dinner in the boutique’s restaurant on Monday. “I never imagined to meet 18 people wearing my things at the same time, so I was very proud,” Courteille said in her French accent.
Courteille showcased 50 of her jewel-encrusted, 18-karat gold creations, many inspired by the indigenous cultures of Argentina and Guatemala. “When I traveled to Guatemala I was so inspired by the fabrics, by the embroidery, by the culture — Mayan culture,” Courteille noted. “I decided to note everything I saw on my trip — the birds, the archaeology, superstition, legends — everything. I took these one by one and tried to put it into the jewelry.”
Each of Courteille’s creations is a unique, three-dimensional sculpture with a touch of whimsy. For instance, a bejeweled ring of a Mayan step pyramid conceals a pavé-diamond skull that bobbles on a spring, jack-in-the-box style, when the hinged top level hangs open.
The offerings ranged from pink tourmaline, sapphire and diamond flower post earrings priced around $10,000

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Revo’s Collaborative Spirit

Revo, whose retro sunglass styles are popular among Millennials, is fungible enough to be worn by both wilderness survivalists and Southern debutants.
The brand has another point of distinction. Revo launched with lens technology created by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA, for use as solar protection for satellites.
Founded in 1985, Revo claims to be the leading global performance eyewear brand with polarized lens technology. The company said it produces the clearest and most advanced high-contrast polarized sunglasses after three decades of testing and innovations. Blue mirror lenses, one of the breakthroughs, were worn by astronaut Pete Conrad in an early advertising campaign.
Revo’s sunglass line created in partnership with specialty retailer Forty Five Ten will bow in early May at stores in Dallas, Aspen, Colo., Miami, and the Shops & Restaurants at Hudson Yards in Manhattan. Three styles each are available in two colorways, with an additional style exclusive to Hudson Yards.
Revo’s collaboration with British former SAS serviceman, survival instructor and adventurer Bear Grylls will hit company stores later this month. The former “Man vs. Wild” host’s sunglasses are made from a high tech, flexible, and nearly unbreakable material, perfect for Grylls, who set a Parajet paramotor record in

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Crosty Partners With NBA’s Zaza Pachulia

Crosty, a unisex sneaker brand based in the country of Georgia, has partnered with NBA star — and another Georgia native — Zaza Pachulia, to increase the brand’s exposure in the U.S. market.
Pachulia currently plays for the Detroit Pistons but had won back-to-back championships with the Golden State Warriors in 2017 and 2018.
“This partnership symbolizes our mutual desire to spread the message of freedom and individuality to the world,” said George Mikaia, creative director of Crosty. “We both come from a place of hardship and have fought to where we are today. Zaza and his success have been an inspiration for many young Georgians and for our brand as well, and now we walk this path together.”
Pachulia and the founders of Crosty are friends with a shared dedication to their home country. Eventually, the partnership is expected to result in the creation of a collection of shoes — and an extension of the size range available — but for now, Pachulia will work to promote the existing range and a new drop coming in May. All of Crosty’s sneakers are created in Georgia and have the word “freedom” emblazoned on each pair.
“Georgia and my roots are always on my mind,” Pachulia

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The World According to Louboutin

CHICAGO — It’s morning at the Four Seasons Allium restaurant here and Christian Louboutin, the shoe designer who has made red soles world-famous, is the only guy in the place wearing a beret — and fittingly, it’s in a scarlet shade of red.
Louboutin, who lives in Paris and just finished designing his spring 2020 collection in Brazil, is winding down after a three-stop tour with Nordstrom, which wrapped up at the Michigan Avenue store last Thursday, following Nashville and Los Angeles. He had planned to stay in Chicago for the weekend, but had to fly to Italy Friday afternoon.
Despite his jet-set life — he designs the summer collection in a place that is hot, such as Brazil or Egypt, where he has a boat on the Nile, and the winter collection in a place less hot “even according to the light” — Louboutin looks quite rested.
One gets the sense this Frenchman loves meeting the women — and men — who wear his red-soled shoes.
“It was very nice. Very nice,” said Louboutin about the Nordstrom event. “People were charming. It’s always nice and always interesting to see people because they end up wanting to tell me stories.”
About 90 people attended the

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To the Max: Nike Continues to Iterate on Air Max Day

LOS ANGELES — Five years in the running now and Nike’s Air Max Day continues to be an important marketing tool to maintain momentum around its Air franchise.
The company’s celebration of the day it first released the Air Max 1 is big in the effort, but it’s also shifted and been reshaped to fit with shifts in how consumers interact with companies.
“We just realized there was this moment where we could celebrate that and share stories and the history of the shoes and everything around that, so that’s how it started five years ago and I think since then it’s completely evolved into something else,” said Nike Sportswear footwear senior design director Dylan Raasch.
Plenty of other companies have also seized on the marketing around the day. Foot Locker created special video content for its social media channels that touch on the Nike Air Max through the generations in what it’s calling the Discover Your Air Network.
Nordstrom with its Nordstrom x Nike sneaker pop-in is playing up the Air Max 720 sneakers. Revolve is also selling the Air Max 720 in addition to other Nike styles at a pop-up launching Thursday that’s tied in with the e-tailer’s festival collection.
Executive vice president and

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Eyewear Sales Veer Toward High Luxury, Contemporary

The eyewear industry is reaching calmer waters following a period of upheaval and consolidation.
Safilo’s losses are narrowing and the company expects to return to profitability by 2020; Marchon expects 2019 to be its best year in a five-year period; Marcolin continues to invest in Thelios, a joint partnership with LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, and Luxottica North America’s diverse portfolio, it says, has been key in meeting a varied assortment of consumer needs — despite disappointing share valuations and management unrest at its parent company, EssilorLuxottica.
A strong preference, particularly amongst Millennials, for authentic specialty brands continues to strengthen. High luxury and contemporary price points are also performing well, according to the companies. The midrange market is encountering difficulties.
“The market is developing an hourglass shape: There is the high-end that speaks an authentic language that sells well, and there are trusted brands with more affordable prices. Stuff in the middle may be suffering more,” said Thomas Burkhardt, senior vice president of global brands, marketing and design for Marchon.
“We are seeing a segmentation of demand,” added Luxottica’s president of wholesale for North America, Fabrizio Uguzzoni. “You are seeing luxury and high-end demand growing. In the midrange, the consumer expects a very high

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Investment Fund to Support the Expansion of Footwear Label Manebí

MILAN — Launched in 2013 as a small brand offering revisited espadrilles, Manebí is gearing up to face new international challenges.
The company established by Milanese friends Antonello Benati and Vera Drossopulo Bogdano has opened its capital to Milano Investment Partners — MIP, a fund management company specialized in venture growth investments. Details of the operation were not disclosed.
“We were searching for the right partner to continue our expansion path after having created and managed Manebí relying only on our strengths and the support of our team,” said Drossopulo Bogdano, who worked at Lehman Brothers and later covered the role of vice president at Société Generale before embarking on the Manebí adventure.
“We aim to expand our business into international markets becoming an iconic brand in the footwear and beachwear fashion segment,” said Benati, who cut his teeth at Merrill Lynch Bank of America. “We found in MPI the ideal partner, able to support both our strategic decisions and the operations thanks to their great experience, their global network and their focus on the consumer-tech sectors.”

Manebí espadrilles
Courtesy Photo

Since its foundation in December 2017, MIP has invested in a range of promising start-ups, including artisanal shoe manufacturer Velasca; German premium luggage brand Horizn

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