Ungaro expands into leather goods with La Compagnia delle Pelli
After relaunching its women's ready-to-wear and fragrance lines last year, Ungaro is continuing to build on its success. The French luxury house, owned since 2005 by Aimz Acquisition, the investment fund of Pakistani-American businessman Asim Abdullah, is now entering the leather handbag sector with Italian manufacturer La Compagnia delle Pelli.
The company based in Bergamo, located north of Milan, already handles leather goods licenses for other brands such as Bikkembergs, and will be responsible for the production and worldwide distribution of a collection of handbags and clutches for Ungaro.
The licensing agreement is set to begin with the Spring/Summer 2023 collection.
"It's a diffusion line that draws on the DNA of the house with a collection of leather bags, retailing between 350 and 450 euros, and a range of PVC and nylon bags with leather trimmings between 250 and 350 euros," explained the general manager of the house, Marie Fournier.
The collection consists of around 70 pieces, which were just recently unveiled at Paris Fashion Week during the presentation of the new women's ready-to-wear collection designed by artistic director Kobi Halperin. The smooth or embossed leather items all feature the house's emblematic 'Diva' pleat and are available in a variety of colors. The brand name is embossed in gold lettering on the pieces, as is the new 'butterfly' logo. All bags come with two shoulder straps, one in leather and one in canvas bearing the brand's logo.
"We have also just signed a licensing agreement to develop a homeware line, a product category we haven't worked in for a long time. This has involved two agreements, one for the United States and one for Southeast Asia," said Fournier.
These agreements have come just as Ungaro is in the midst of relaunching its fragrance line. The brand signed a 10-year global licensing agreement at the end of 2021 for the creation, development and distribution of its fragrances with the Interparfums group.
"Things are going well. Business has picked up quite a bit since 2021 thanks to online sales. There has been a good recovery and this trend is continuing in 2022," said Fournier, who nevertheless remains cautious about forecasts for 2023, "because of the impact of inflation".
It is worth noting that Ungaro's women's ready-to-wear line is managed under licence by Komark LLC, a subsidiary of S. Rothschild + Co, Halperin's business partner. Manufactured in Asia, the line has been repositioned in a contemporary premium segment. The men's sector is also being developed through four licences for clothing, footwear, leather goods, underwear and loungewear.
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