Italian men's brand Canali closes factory near Milan

A symbol of Italian male elegance, Canali has for several years now been confronted by the crisis affecting men's formal wear, the heart of its business. It's a situation that has lead it to close a factory in Carate Brianza.

The Italian label's factory will lay off 134 people - canali.com

The historic brand, founded in 1934 in Brianza (to the north of Milan), has made its specialisation an asset - a sole and unique label for men, entirely produced in Italy. However, now it's being penalised, much like many other super luxury men's brands such as Brioni, by a business model and overcapacity of production that is no longer in sync with the current market demands.

The company said in a statement that "the employee reduction in the Carate Brianza establishment was determined by the drop in the formal market, which has been the case since 2009, and which has now become structural."

That said, the site had already been idle for a year with technical unemployment. But this week the local media reported that the facility would fully shut down, resulting in "the closure of the site where 134 employees will lose their jobs."  In response, Canali employees protested the move on Wednesday. 

Five years ago, the brand operated seven production facilities and employed 1,600 people, far surpassing today's staff figures of close to 1,000. The brand has always had a strong focus on the international market, where it records 90% of its revenues. In 2016, revenues reached 216 million euros, a 2.7% drop compared to the previous year. 

Canali, which open around ten stores last year, boasts 180 boutiques globally, with 40 of these under direct management.

The firm, still in the hands of its founding family (now third generation), has accelerated its global expansion efforts and is working to strengthen its product offering. It recently announced the release of an eyewear line with L'Amy America, which forms part of the International Luxury Group.

As for design, the brand has been searching for a creative director for two seasons now. In fact, since the departure of former-design head Andrea Pompilio one year ago, Canali has deserted the Milanese show schedule completely.

Translated by Benjamin Fitzgerald

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