Dirk Bikkembergs entrusts relaunch to new COO Dario Predonzan
Dirk Bikkembergs passed under the Chinese flag in July 2015, and has now set up a new management team tasked with leading its relaunch. The sport couture label, founded in 1987 by the eponymous Belgian designer, has hired Dario Predonzan as its new COO. Chinese group Canudilo, through the Levitas company, owns a 51% stake in Dirk Bikkembergs, while the remaining 49% is shared out equally between Zeis Excelsa (footwear) and Sinv (apparel).
The Italian manager was Global Sales Director for Diesel for eight years, and has also worked for Nike and Marzotto. He joined Bikkembergs less than a month ago. He will report directly to the board of directors. His mission is simple, as he himself explains it. It is to "restore Dirk Bikkembergs to its former glory."
"In early June I will submit an industrial plan to the shareholders. The brand has a very clear, powerful identity, and it is highly recognisable. It is essential to focus again on its DNA and give it a new sparkle. Dirk Bikkembergs has an incredible potential," he emphasised.
The launch of Dirk, the fashion label's very first fragrance, created in partnership with Perfume Holding, is part of this new strategy. The fragrance's distribution will begin in June in Italy, then in September in other European countries such as Germany, Spain, Russia, Benelux and Poland, with other new markets to follow.
For its debut on the fragrance stage, the brand has chosen a perfume inspired by its second line, Dirk by Dirk Bikkembergs, which enjoys a younger, wider target audience. "Through this fragrance, we want to expand the brand in South America," said Dario Predonzan.
The fashion label is also planning to hire a creative director to lend new energy to its relaunch. The new designer's name is expected to be revealed shortly.
Last year, new shareholder Canudilo announced an investment of €60 million to accelerate the brand's expansion in China, and of another €30 million in the long term for Europe and the USA.
In the last few months, Canudilo notably financed several store openings in China. The brand now operates 15 of them, and three to five others are expected to open soon. Emphasis will also be placed on communications. Last April in fact, Dirks Bikkembergs showed at the Shanghai Fashion Week.
The label recently moved its headquarters to new offices in Milan, at 36 Via Stendhal, and has opened a new 700 m² showroom not far from there, in Via Tortona.
Bikkembergs' other expansion vector will be e-commerce, through the Canudilo multi-brand website modernavenue.com, which already generates a revenue of €40 million.
Dirk Bikkembergs itself produces a revenue of €80 million, with 65 mono-brand retail outlets worldwide, consisting of stores, outlets and retail corners.
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