Dirk Bikkembergs accelerates expansion through Chinese investors
One sensed a festive and frankly optimistic atmosphere during Dirk Bikkembergs’s fashion show, which kicked off Milan’s Men’s Fashion Week on June 19.
While guests had a drink at the party following the show held at QC Termemilano, Maurizio Pizzuti, president of the Italian company Zeis Excelsa, which took over the brand in 2011, posed for photographers with his new partner, Luciano Donatelli, head of the Chinese company Canudil Guangzhou’s Italian subsidiary, which just acquired control of Dirk Bikkembergs.
The transaction should be concluded in July, while new management should be appointed in the next few months. A 51% stake in the sports couture label, which was founded in 1989 by the Belgian designer Dirk Bikkembergs, was sold for 40.68 million euros to Guangzhou Canudilo fashion and accessories, which specializes in men’s retail in China.
"It’s a major company that is listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. It has 450 stores, where it markets its own medium/high-end brands, and about fifty multibrands, where it distributes large brands in China, including Dirk Bikkembergs," said Maurizio Pizzuti.
"Guangzhou Canudilo’s shareholders wanted an international label in their portfolio, which is why they have purchased a stake in Dirk Bikkembergs. But they don’t want to stop there and are negotiating with other Italian brands. They should conclude an agreement shortly with a luxury brand from Milan," said the head of Zeis Excelsa, which holds a 49% stake in Levitas, which controls the brand on a joint basis with the Italian company Sinv (which owns the brand Piazza Sempione).
"Dirk Bikkembergs’s production will remain in Europe. Our company Zeis Excelsa will continue to produce the footwear line under license, while Sinv will take charge of apparel, also under license. Guangzhou Canudilo will handle the brand’s distribution in Asia," said Maurizio Pizzuti.
"The agreement includes a special business plan with an entry into the US market, where the brand is currently present online. Furthermore, the company is in the process of committing to a colossal investment in order to create a major web platform to market luxury brands available in China," concluded the Italian entrepreneur, optimistic about Dirk Bikkembergs’s potential for growth, since, "China is the largest market in the world."
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