Italian label N°21 changes childrenswear partner
Italian designer Alessandro Dell’Acqua wants to speed up his brand’s expansion, and has a new partner for the children's line of his N°21 ready-to-wear label. The line will now be produced and distributed under licence by Brave Kid, the childrenswear company of Italian fashion group OTB, led by Diesel’s founder Renzo Rosso. Brave Kid already has in its portfolio the children's lines for Diesel, Dsquared2, John Galliano, Marni and Trussardi.
N°21 Kids was launched in 2015 and was licensed to Italian high-end childrenswear specialist Grant. The latter is now experiencing difficulties, and last month it filed for a preventive composition procedure, to enable the company to stay afloat.
N°21’s new deal with Brave Kid “will last for five years, and is renewable for another five, starting with the Autumn/Winter 2019-20 season. It licences to Brave Kid the development, production and exclusive worldwide distribution of N°21’s apparel and accessories collections for young boys and girls aged 4 to 14,” the two partners stated in a press release.
With the new licensee, the distribution of N°21 Kids will change entirely. While previously it was only sold via a series of multibrand retailers, it will also become available for the first time at the label’s five flagship stores, in Milan, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Beijing and Seoul. The line’s wholesale distribution will be managed from Brave Kid’s Milan showroom, via a network of agents and distributors.
The deal comes at an especially busy time for Alessandro Dell’Acqua, who is also the creative director of womenswear for Rochas. On November 20, Dell’Acqua opened his label’s own commercial showroom within Garage 21, N°21’s imposing headquarters, inaugurated last year at 26 via Archimede in Milan, where the label shows. From the current season, N°21’s collections will be commercialised at that address, and no longer at the Riccardo Grassi showroom.
Italian fashion group Gilmar (Iceberg) has a 30% stake in N°21, as well as producing under licence its men’s and women’s ready-to-wear lines. N°21 now features three womenswear collections per year: a main collection, a pre-collection and a so-called transitional line, a sort of pre-pre-collection first launched exactly a year ago. It now includes 25 looks, and its deliveries are brought forward to November for the Spring/Summer and April-May for the winter period.
N° 21 is also pushing ahead with international expansion, and last October it inaugurated its largest flagship store in the world, in Seoul. In addition to five directly owned monobrand stores, the label is distributed via fifteen shop-in-shops in department stores and over 600 multibrand clients. Besides the ready-to-wear collections, N° 21 also has an internally developed accessories line. In 2016, the label’s revenue was €52 million.
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