Brioni’s CEO Francesco Pesci on the future of the Italian luxury menswear house
In 2013, Brioni has almost doubled its retail network. How many mono-brand stores did you open?
In 2013 Brioni celebrated the opening of 5 new dos and 7 franchisee stores, which brings the number of our company-owned units to 39, and the number of franchises units to 47. We strengthened our presence in the European market with the openings of the boutiques in Frankfurt and Vienna while in the US we increased the number of the boutiques to seven after the openings in Chicago, Costa Mesa, Bal Harbour and Palm Beach.
What is your approach in terms of retail expansion – franchise versus DOS? Why?
We believe the expansion of our retail network is a strategic priority because the brand must grow its size and gain a stronger control over its image, merchandising-mix and pricing. Franchise will continue to play a role in some specific markets.
You have been gradually introducing a less formal / sporty line at your flagship stores. How has this performed?
The acquisition of Brioni by Kering marked a turning point in the company’s history that is now part of a financially strong and international luxury group and for the first time ever has a creative director. The appointment of Brendan Mullane as creative director has further consolidated the contemporary image of Brioni, which through its sartorial tradition has written the history of male fashion. We have thus wanted to expand the sartorial exclusivity that characterizes our brand to all the product categories.
With Zegna reviving Agnona, would you re-consider at some point in future to re-launch women’s wear?
The luxury menswear market is growing faster than the ladieswear one. Moreover, menswear is Brioni’s DNA so a return to ladieswear is not envisaged.
How important is Made in Italy for Brioni? What are the challenges you face in withstanding compromises?
Brioni is not simply Made in Italy but is also “Made-In-Brioni”, because most of its products are manufactured in-house. This is Brioni’s strength and one of its founding values, no we do not and will not compromise on this.
What are the novelties we could expect in terms of branding / communications in 2014/2015?
Brioni has recently launched a new website which opens a new window on the brand, highlighting its deep-seated sartorial tradition, as well as offering its clients an exclusive online shopping area. It serves as the starting point to further penetrate the digital world, extending the exclusiveness of our service.