Watch CBS News

Valentino Goes After the Less Rich Shopper

Women's Wear Daily reports this morning that fashion brand Valentino -- whose global sales rose nearly 10 percent last year -- aims to double revenues to more than $381 million as it remakes the brand to appeal to younger, less affluent shoppers.

Building on its reputation as a house of glamour that dressed Jackie Kennedy, Liz Taylor, and Julia Roberts, Valentino plans to add 35 stores in the United States, Europe, and Asia in the next five years, said Stefano Sassi, CEO of Valentino Fashion Group, which also owns Hugo Boss, Marlboro Classics, and M Missoni.

"With respect to a clientele that is traditionally richer and not very price-sensitive ... We want to open up to a more modern, also more international, more price-conscious consumer," Sassi said, according to Reuters.

Founder Valentino Garavani retired in January after private equity firm Permira bought the company. Alessandra Facchinetti replaced Garavani as head of all women's ready-to-wear and couture, showing her first designs in February. The line was "generally well-received by retailers and fashion critics," WWD's Alessandra Ilari reports. With new ownership and a stable of new designers, the company has licensed its brand into bridal, watches, perfumes, and eyewear.

But the push to attract younger, trendier shoppers doesn't mean less attention for the luxury end of the brand. Accessories have been a huge growth market, especially in the United States, and Sassi says the plan is to triple sales from $73 million in 2007. At $895 for a clutch to $18,900 for a multicolored caiman-skin tote, Valentino handbags are "much more expensive than Gucci and Prada's," Sassi told WWD.

Garavani opened his atelier in 1959 in Rome. The business was sold in 1998 to HdP for $300 million, then in 2002 for $210 million to Marzotto Apparel of Milan. Permira paid more than $1 billion for a controlling interest in May 2007.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.