A fashion legacy lost?

Economic crisis starts to bite Italy’s luxury goods sector

Editorial Staff
February 26, 2009

The financial economic crunch has taken another victim-luxury fashions. The holding company that owns top Italian fashion brand Gianfranco Ferré filed for bankruptcy protection on February 9, citing a significant reduction in luxury retail consumption as its main reason.


Days later, Italy appointed three special administrators to oversee the daily business operations of its Ittierre subsidiary, which is part of the larger IT Holding company, the first Italian fashion company listed on the stock market to announce financial difficulty since the start of the economic crisis last year. IT Holding shares have been suspended from the Milan stock exchange until further notice.


The ailing Ittierre unit employs 772 people, and in addition to owning top Italian designer labels Gianfranco Ferré, Malo and Extè, it also distributes products for other designers like Versace and Cavalli. Facing reduced funds, IT Holding has been looking for a partner to help sustain costs for the last several months. It now seeks a buyer for the Gianfranco Ferré, Malo and Extè labels. Ittierre accounted for 63 percent of IT Holding's revenues, recorded at 468 million euros in September 2008.


Industry minister Claudio Scajola said the goal of the three special administrators would be getting Ittierre back on its feet: ‘This is a measure to relaunch this company, which controls an important brand that operates in a sector we deem important for Made in Italy.'

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