Manolo Blahnik buys key manufacturer to support seamless supply chain
Luxury shoe designer Manolo Blahnik has acquired Italian women’s shoe manufacturer, Calzaturificio Re Marcello, the company that makes the brand’s footwear.
Founded in 1938 by the Re family, Calzaturificio Re Marcello’s single factory is in Vigevano, Pavia, and has been making shoes for Manolo Blahnik since 1990.
It’s certainly an interesting move. We’re used to hearing about specialist manufacturers being acquired by the luxury brands that they supply, but those acquisitions are often made by the biggest names in luxury such as Chanel, Hermès, or one of LVMH’s brands.
It’s less common for smaller luxury players to make such a purchase, but it underlines the importance of ensuring a high-quality manufacturing base to guarantee seamless production that can hit the right note with the modern luxury consumer.
And for Manolo Blahnik, whose shoes are highly detailed and often technically quite challenging, that’s even more important.
The designer said on Tuesday that the addition of its “77 highly-skilled craftsmen into the group will strengthen [our] vision for developing artisanal talent and nurture the art of shoe-making for future generations.”
The current management team comprising Bruno Re and Giuse Galazzi will stay on “for the foreseeable future,” working alongside Blahnik’s management team “to ensure continuity.”
Blahnik was fulsome in his praise for the business and said he’s “enormously excited that this wonderful partnership can flourish and look forward to welcoming the family and employees into our company.”
And his CEO, Kristina Blahnik added: “Calzaturificio Re Marcello is synonymous with craftsmanship of exceptional quality in our industry and we are delighted to have been able to bring such a valued partner into the family. This acquisition will be our first atelier and manufacturing facility, creating greater creative and operational flexibility for the future of our business.”
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