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Jun 21, 2010
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Cavalli targets handbags, menswear sales

By
Reuters
Published
Jun 21, 2010

MILAN, June 21 (Reuters) - Italian fashion house Cavalli, best known for its animal print clothes, aims to increase its accessories and menswear businesses in the next two to three years to help expansion in Asia and the United States, its chief executive said.

Cavalli

Luxury groups are trying to win back customers after the economic crisis sapped demand for discretionary items. Global luxury sales are expected to grow by more than 4 percent in 2010, according to U.S. consultancy Bain and Co.

"Our brand has traditionally focused more on womenswear and less on accessories. Our project in the next two to three years is to expand categories of products we have not developed well yet, like handbags and shoes," Gianluca Brozzetti told Reuters at the Roberto Cavalli menswear show on Sunday, part of spring-summer 2011 menswear fashion week in Milan.

He also said a stronger menswear business would yield good results for the company, whose Just Cavelli line is manufactured by Italy's Ittierre, a unit of fashion group IT Holding (ITH.MI).

Brozzetti said the group's retail sales were growing double-digit, as in the first quarter of the year, helped by new store openings, including a fourth shop in Japan.

"We are always (growing) in double-digits, in particular we confirm a positive trend in North America," he said. "We have just started our 2011 spring-summer collection showrooms and from the signs of our first clients, it seems the positive signal is continuing," he said.

However, Brozzetti said the pace of the recovery would take time, adding that a weak euro was not helping fashion houses like Cavalli, whose production is based in Europe.

"The market will return to pre-crisis levels but differently. Maybe (it will be) more focused on the product, on true brands," he said.

Roberto Cavalli's turnover dropped 22 percent to about 175 million euros in 2009, hurt by financial woes at Ittierre, which was put into administration last year and is in the hands of government-appointed commissioners.

Cavalli's Just Cavalli line is manufactured under licence by Ittierre, whose auction sale process is under way.

"2010 is a transition year for us, so the impact of our actions will be seen in 2011 or beyond," Brozzetti said.

Roberto Cavalli showed a more classic elegance at his Sunday show, with black tuxedo jacket embroidered in silver and lightweight silk printed shirts in warm colours.

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