VALENTINO Up 24 Per Cent

According to VOGUE UK, Ella Alexander, VALENTINO has reported a revenue boost of 24 per cent in the past six months, helping it to return to the black. The Italian label posted first half net profits of 2.6 million euros, compared with a loss of € 7.4 million during the same period the year before.

“We are quite pleased – revenues will reach more than 300 millions euros in 2011, even more”, said Chief Executive of Valentino Fashion Group, Stefano Sassi. “This is a brand that deserves an even bigger development and a stronger presence, and there is the basis for this to happen. It’s a positive loop. We actually increased our envestments, from personnel to communication, as we wanted to convey the brand’s changes to our customer”.

The label is currently working on a new store look, to better showcase creative directors Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli’s designs – as well as its accessories line – which accounted for 35 per cent of the total revenue. Sassi also spoke out about the realtionship between the brand and its eponymous founder Valentino Garavani.

“There is a great respect and we do projects together,” he told WWD. “Valentino has made the history of fashion in Italy, and given the quality of the person, the company, together with Chiuri and Piccioli, is pleased that he is appreciative of our work.”

Astrid Wendlandt (China Daily) describes – The Italian fashion brand VALENTINO is enjoying solid demand for haute couture pieces, thanks to Middle Eastern, Russian and US buyers and trading overall continues to improve. Chief Executive Stefano Sassi said buyers from China, the biggest growth market for many luxury brands, were starting to emerge bit it was still early days.

“The Chinese – they are just starting. The most important are Middle Eastern customers, followd by the Russians and Americans.” Sassi told Reuters in an interview after the brands haute couture show – ‘VALENTINO Couture F/W 2011/12’ – in a private mension in Paris. For next season’s haute couture collection, the brand favored by Hollywood actresses and European monarchs opted to woo Russian buyers, who have made a strong comeback in luxury boutiques since the 2009 downturn.

VALENTINO unveiled a collection inspired by the tsarinas and Moscovia and the empire’s Boyar guards, mixing fairy-tale style with military details, which drew the awe of fashion critics and celebrities. “When I was a little girl, I dreamed of dresses like this. This is one of my favorite collections, the best one I have ever seen,” Anne Hathaway said after the show.

Striking pieces included embroidered long black velvet dresses, straight gilded tunics and short cocktail dresses as well as see-through long dresses ornamented with silk roses, bronze lace or feathers. “We have very good Russian  customers,” Sassi said, adding these customers were attracted by the brand’s glamourous image. “And in Russia, there are a lot of very affluent people.”

While demand for couture remained buoyant, Sassi said the brand’s ready-to-wear business was also growing well and iverall the company achieved a 25 percent rise in first-hals sales. Sales roses 20 percent in 2010. Sassi said demand was driven by all of the brand’s main markets in Asia, the United States and Europe.

VALENTINO RTW Fall/Winter 2011/12 Ad Campaign

By ANDREA JANKE

Follow Andrea’s Twitter @andreajanke

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