Italian designer Cavalli defies slowdown with new stores

Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:31am EST
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MILAN (Reuters) - Italy's fashion house Roberto Cavalli, known for its animal prints and flowing silk dresses, reported a 4 percent rise in revenues to 185 million euros ($247 million) in 2012, helped by the opening of new stores, including in China.

The Florentine designer, whose leather-fringed jeans have been worn by celebrities like actress Jennifer Lopez and model Cindy Crawford, is among fashion houses reducing their exposure to the crisis-hit Italian market by expanding abroad.

Italian luxury goods makers such as Ferragamo and Prada escaped the worst effects of the economic downturn last year thanks to spending by wealthy tourists from Asia and Russia.

However, sales of Italian fashion in 2012 are estimated to have finished down 4.4 percent against 2011, according to Italy's fashion and textile body Sistema Moda Italia (SMI).

Cavalli said on Monday sales at its directly-owned stores grew 23.4 percent in 2012, outpacing overall sale growth.

This result was achieved thanks to the opening of 38 monobrand stores in 2012, for a total of 168 standalone shops worldwide.

Monobrand stores, which only sell a specific brand, allow fashion houses to attract shoppers with a stronger brand image.

Retail is also a key growth driver for fashion houses, as they can cut distribution layers and boost profitability by directly managing their stores.

Cavalli said retail sales, which represent over 70 percent of the group's revenues, rose 6.8 percent.   Continued...

Italian designer Roberto Cavalli and his wife Eva acknowledge applause on the catwalk at the end of his Spring/Summer 2013 collection at Milan Fashion Week September 24, 2012. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo