Herno to Cel­e­brate 70 Years

WWD Digital Daily - - News - BY ALESSAN­DRA TURRA

A spe­cial in­stal­la­tion, show­cas­ing both the her­itage of the brand and its at­ten­tion to the fu­ture of fash­ion, will be un­veiled at Stazione Leopolda.

Herno is cel­e­brat­ing its 70th an­niver­sary with a spe­cial event on June 12 dur­ing Pitti Uomo.

The Ital­ian out­er­wear spe­cial­ist will show­case its his­tory and her­itage with an in­stal­la­tion at Flo­rence's Stazione Leopolda.

“We will set up a li­brary on two floors where there will be ar­eas ded­i­cated to dif­fer­ent themes, such as trends, man­u­fac­tur­ing, his­tory, sus­tain­abil­ity, down prod­ucts and tech­nol­ogy,” said Clau­dio Marenzi, Herno's pres­i­dent and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, who in­her­ited the com­pany founded by his fa­ther Giuseppe Marenzi in 1948. “We chose the li­brary, an el­e­ment which we al­ways in­stall in our stores and show­rooms, since it sym­bol­izes a de­pos­i­tory of mem­o­ries and hope, and it com­bines the past, the present and the fu­ture.”

A sec­tion within the in­stal­la­tion will be ded­i­cated to the fu­ture. Here, Herno will dis­play the cre­ations of the stu­dents of fash­ion schools Polimoda and Osaka Bunka Fash­ion Col­lege. Dur­ing the event, six seam­stresses will be on hand cre­at­ing the pieces as a way to show­case the com­pany's crafts­man­ship.

Founded as a com­pany fo­cused on the pro­duc­tion of trench­coats, Herno started pro­duc­ing out­er­wear pieces for a wide range of in­ter­na­tional lux­ury brands in the Eight­ies.

“In the early Aughts, we re­al­ized that this strat­egy fo­cused on the pro­duc­tion for oth­ers was not very suc­cess­ful any­more and in 2005 my par­ents asked me to take con­trol and in­au­gu­rate a new phase for the com­pany,” Marenzi said. “We stopped pro­duc­ing for oth­ers and we put the fo­cus on the de­vel­op­ment of the brand [with the help] of pri­vate eq­uity firm, Pe­gaso In­ves­ti­menti, which en­tered into the com­pany in 2007 and whose shares I bought back in 2012.”

In or­der to re­launch the Herno brand, Marenzi de­vel­oped an am­bi­tious strat­egy fo­cused on cre­at­ing strong aware­ness, repo­si­tion­ing the prod­uct of­fer­ing and its dis­tri­bu­tion, and set­ting up com­mu­ni­ca­tion and mar­ket­ing ac­tiv­i­ties.

The ef­forts paid off. In 2005, the com­pany's rev­enues were un­der 10 mil­lion eu­ros, but Herno has seen its busi­ness grow 18 per­cent ev­ery year in the last decade and closed 2017 with sales of 96 mil­lion eu­ros.

“We ex­pect to ex­ceed 100 mil­lion eu­ros in 2018,” said Marenzi, adding that while Italy and Ja­pan re­main the com­pany's big­gest mar­kets, in the last few years the United States — which cur­rently accounts for 10 per­cent of sales — has been an out­per­former, with a yearly growth rate of 50 per­cent.

Ja­pan and the U.S. are fol­lowed by Ger­many, South Korea, Spain and Rus­sia. Herno hasn't ex­panded into China yet.

“China is a very im­por­tant mar­ket and it's go­ing to be ex­tremely rel­e­vant not only in the next five years, but in the next 50 years. Since it's so cru­cial that we're ready to face it in the right way, it def­i­nitely rep­re­sents one of our tar­gets in the mid-term pe­riod,” said Marenzi, who also cited the open­ing of an on­line store among his goals.

Herno op­er­ates 49 stores and is fo­cus­ing on adding new units in Europe in 2018. The brand's col­lec­tions are also sold in 1,300 multi­brand shops world­wide.

Among the best-per­form­ing out­er­wear cat­e­gories for the brand, Marenzi said, are Gore-Tex jack­ets, as well as down styles and trench­coats po­si­tioned in the high­est seg­ment of the brand's of­fer­ing. ■

An Herno im­age from the spring 1970 men’s collection.

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