Belstaff returns to the UK as legal entity
Though Belstaff is a British heritage brand - founded in Stoke-on-Trent in 1924 - its trademark and finance has previously been based in Switzerland, but has now returned to the UK, the company announced.
In July 2014, the company also returned its headquarters to the UK, and saw Gavin Haig join as CEO. He said of the latest change: "Belstaff is proud to finally be able to genuinely call itself a modern British heritage brand. Our key operations stem from the UK and we now count three Brits among our senior management team. Only Belstaff production remains stationed in Italy, although our wax cotton is produced in Northern England and we hope to grow our UK production further."
Belstaff has also just appointed Mike Woodcock as CFO. Woodcock previously worked for Montblanc and one of his jobs will be to reduce key offices from 5 (previously London, Milan, Switzerland, New York and Venice) to 1 (London HQ) with a Venice sourcing hub. He commented: "I was delighted to accept the appointment as Belstaff is clearly moving with immense speed. I wanted to be part of building something great at this point in my career."
The brand is currently expanding internationally and set up Belstaff Japan K.K last year. This year will see four Japanese stores open, and Belstaff also opened two London stores in the last six months. Revenue for the year to 31st January is on track to be 20% higher than the previous year and Haig forecasts similar growth for the upcoming financial year, with expansion to be helped by the acceleration of the women's business. During New York Fashion Week in February, new ambassador Liv Tyler will reveal her first film for the company. Her first capsule collection for the brand will be unveiled during London Fashion Week.
Haig added: "We are a challenger brand, with plenty of discipline and having the bulk of our operations in London means we can move swiftly to expand. This will be a year of change and growth."
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