Harmont & Blaine arrives in France as part of European expansion
Harmont & Blaine is taking things into higher gear. The Neapolitan fashion company, which sold a 35% stake in its capital to the Italian investment firm Clessidra in October 2014, has recruited François-Olivier Gerreboo, the former head of Gant France, in order to develop its first subsidiary in France.
"This is an international company, which has maintained a familial spirit and now has the means to fulfill its ambitions," said the French executive while at Pitti Uomo, where the casual clothing brand for men, women and children has returned this season several years of absence.
"Harmont & Blaine is occupying the space formerly occupied by Façonnable 10 years ago, with vacation-style products inspired by the Mediterranean, which have a great potential in a market where there’s now only American fashion" continued Gerreboo, who foresees "development on the Atlantic and Mediterranean beaches" where, with its bright, summery colors, the brand should be a hit.
Founded by Domenico Menniti and his brothers, the label, whose logo is a dachshund, has based its success on its wide range with "refined, very high-quality products at an affordable price." Over 50% of production is Italian and 98% is European.
In 2014, its turnover reached 75 million euros - 80% of which came from Italy and menswear. It now has 60 stores in Italy and 72 abroad between Eastern Europe, Russia, Spain, South America and the Middle East. And now it intends to take on Europe.
"France is the central focus of our development due to its central location and its closeness to the Italian culture. From there, the brand will be extended to Germany, the UK, Benelux and Northern Europe," explained Gerreboo.
The development in France should begin soon enough, as Harmont & Blaine is about to sign an agreement to open two stores, "one 3,230 ft² in Paris with a highly visible location between Madeleine and Opera, and one in Cannes with an opening planned possibly for summer," said the country manager.
As for the wholesale channel, an agreement has been signed with an agent, Arnaud Collet, who works with Joe Sand, the objective being to reach fifty locations in 2016. Discussions have also begun with department stores.
"It’s high-end casual with a great effort made in terms of price positioning. The knits and jerseys are superb. There’s also a range of customizable polos for resellers, adding a refined touch," said Olivier Gerreboo.
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