Wool­rich Sets U.S. Ex­pan­sion

WWD Digital Daily - - News - BY ALESSAN­DRA TURRA

The out­er­wear la­bel will in­au­gu­rate a new flag­ship in New York in Fe­bru­ary.

MI­LAN — Wool­rich is set­ting the foun­da­tions for ex­pan­sion in the U.S.

The out­er­wear com­pany, which re­cently passed un­der the con­trol of L-Gam, a Lux­em­bourg-based in­vest­ment firm backed by the princely fam­ily of Liecht­en­stein, is gear­ing up to open a show­room on New York's Var­ick Street and a new flag­ship in the heart of SoHo, on Wooster Street.

The first is slated to open in Jan­uary, while the lat­ter will be in­au­gu­rated in Fe­bru­ary dur­ing New York Fash­ion Week.

Ac­cord­ing to Rita Ca­pasa, the brand's gen­eral man­ager for North Amer­ica, the United States ac­counts for 18 per­cent of the busi­ness of Wool­rich, which was pre­vi­ously con­trolled by WP La­vori in

Corso. Last month, the Ital­ian fash­ion com­pany sold the to­tal­ity of its stakes to L-Gam, while Wool­rich's Ja­pa­nese part­ner Gold­win in­creased its in­vest­ment in the brand to con­trol 20 per­cent of the com­pany. In­ci­den­tally, Ca­pasa is the sis­ter of Carlo and En­nio Ca­pasa, the head of Italy's Cam­era Nazionale della Moda and the founder of the Cos­tume Na­tional brand, re­spec­tively.

“L- Gam aims to cre­ate a solid in­ter­nal or­ga­ni­za­tion to boost our in­ter­na­tional busi­ness,” said Wool­rich cre­ative brand di­rec­tor An­drea Canè. “The fi­nal goal is to gen­er­ate a turnover of $350 mil­lion and be­come a pub­lic com­pany in five years.” In 2017, Wool­rich posted rev­enues of $205 mil­lion.

Asia, where the com­pany will op­er­ate through a ven­ture with Gold­win fo­cused on ex­pand­ing the brand's pres­ence in the mar­ket be­gin­ning in Korea, and es­pe­cially the U.S., will be key to ac­com­plish­ing the am­bi­tious mis­sion.

“We are putting a lot of ef­fort in mak­ing our col­lec­tions look more ap­peal­ing for the North Amer­i­can mar­ket,” said Canè, high­light­ing that the com­pany has hired New York-based stylist Mel Ot­ten­berg, who is the man be­hind Ri­hanna's most ac­claimed looks, as a fash­ion con­sul­tant.

Ac­cord­ing to Canè, the fall 2019 col­lec­tion will re­veal the new course of the com­pany, which has also stream­lined its in­ter­nal or­ga­ni­za­tion, clos­ing sev­eral li­censees in the U.S. The firm, which in the past oper­ated sev­eral lines, of­fers only the Wool­rich pre­mium ur­ban line and the Wool­rich Out­door La­bel, a more tech­ni­cal range dis­trib­uted by Gold­win.

Aimé Leon Dorex Wool­rich

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