MILAN — “Stunning with out being intimidating.” That’s the purpose Marco Pirone set for the brand new course of Italian brand Harmont & Blaine, which is rooted in a Mediterranean interpretation of the preppy look.
The chief, who joined the corporate final August as chief govt officer, has nice ambitions for the ready-to-wear label, which he thinks “has to draw new shoppers with a extra modern imaginative and prescient.” For Pirone — who was beforehand govt vice chairman 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 angle. “We’re fortunate to have very loyal shoppers, who know what to anticipate from us. That’s nice however not sufficient. We wish to evolve and turn out 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 collection of 25 shirts crafted from sustainable cotton and linen whereas at Milan males’s trend week on June 21 will debut a capsule collection 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 will likely be unveiled by way of 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 actually outline the model’s style and spirit, and that I personally share with the corporate,” mentioned Pompilio. “Our spontaneous encounter mirrored in an thought 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 needed to outline it by 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 foremost collections. “I feel that the primary indicators of this new course are already seen within the winter assortment, nevertheless it’s within the subsequent spring lineup the place shoppers will likely be actually capable of see the distinction,” Pirone mentioned.
Harmont & Blaine, which in 2014 acquired an funding from investment fund Clessidra, at present generates about 80 p.c of its gross sales in Italy. “Getting extra worldwide is one other vital purpose that we set,” mentioned Pirone. “Within the subsequent three years, we count on to have worldwide markets accounting for 40 p.c of our enterprise.”
Whereas the model has stable distribution in Spain and Mexico, the corporate continues 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 line with the CEO when the corporate could have stable bases within the Far East, the main target will likely be placed on the USA, the place the model is already registering sturdy on-line gross sales. “The US, together with Spain, are the second marketplace for our e-commerce,” mentioned Pirone, who doesn’t count on to open immediately operated retailers within the U.S., the place Harmont & Blaine is current with a boutique in Miami operated by an area companion.
An organization with a powerful retail part, accounting for over 60 p.c of its enterprise, Harmont & Blaine, which operates 70 retailers in Italy, will this yr kick off a plan to refurbish its most vital shops. “The revamping of our trend proposal must be supported by the feel and appear of our boutiques,” mentioned Pirone, who can also be working to bolster the model’s girls’s providing. Whereas 90 p.c of the corporate’s gross sales are of males’s merchandise, the manager defined that in some retailers, 25 p.c of the shoppers are girls, 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 girls, providing them merchandise that mirror the investments we’re making in our core enterprise.”
Closely reliant on its retail community in Italy, in 2020 Harmont & Blaine registered a 30 p.c lower in revenues in comparison with 2019, which the corporate closed with gross sales of 95 million euros. “I feel we are going to return to pre-COVID-19 ranges in 2023,” Pirone mentioned, highlighting that 2021 will nonetheless be tough and that 2022 will likely be marked by a gradual return to normality. “Actually, I don’t count on any rebound impact within the trend business, otherwise from the meals and journey business,” he mentioned.
Harmont & Blaine is the official trend companion of AC Milan, offering the soccer workforce with its off-the-field uniforms. “It’s a really prestigious partnership and we’re proud of 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 workforce.