MILAN — Add is headed to Florence, only it is not hitting the Pitti Uomo fairgrounds, but instead will show its spring 2023 collection through a presentation and cocktail recaption in the city on June 15.
The outerwear specialist is hoping to capitalize on the visibility among menswear players offered by the Florentine showcase. To be sure, the category is seen as the fastest-growing and most lucrative avenue for expansion, and for Add, that means plenty of untapped potential.
With menswear representing only 10 percent of the company’s total sales, Add’s chief executive officer Marco Corbellini is projecting that number to grow to 50 percent in two to three years as part of a business and product retooling that he’s been spearheading since last year. The executive joined the Milan-based brand, operated by the Design Italia 53 company, in 2021.
“The brand is being revamped and fine-tuned, with renewed impulse,” he said. “There’s a new Add with a different product concept and new markets. A lot of changes have been made.”
Staying true to Add’s heritage rooted in functionality and easy-wear options, the brand has diversified its offering by introducing capsule collections in addition to its main line, to address consumer targets, the executive explained.
They include Smart Couture, a premium collection with a green bent featuring recycled down and compostable fabrics; the Ice, sportswear-inflected line that embraces a segment Add had not explored before, and Asur, a city-wear range geared at younger clients, among others.
“Without distorting what the brand is about — lightness, warmth and functionality — we’re trying to further emphasize these features,” he said. “My goal is that our product gets praise for its wearability, durability and warmth,” he added.
The new course kicked off in early 2022 and has already proven successful — Corbellini noted that orders for fall 2022 were above 2019 levels. He expects to further fulfill his ambitions bulking up the menswear division, which product-wise is expected to align with womenswear with fall 2023.
Add is also embracing the genderless trend. “Outerwear is very versatile, and you can easily adjust similar styles for different fits and needs,” Corbellini said.
At a time of uncertainty, an evenly distributed market mix and international exposure are viewed as pivotal to sustain momentum. To this end, Add recently signed on Modern Works, a new distribution partner in South Korea and a new agent in the U.S.
The U.S. is viewed as an expansion target, since Europe and Eastern markets account for 40 percent of sales.
“There’s a strong brand awareness in the U.S.,” said Corbellini, who forecasted the region will account for 20 to 30 percent of overall sales within two years.
At the same time, the CEO commented on the brand’s dependence on Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, which together represent 30 percent of revenues. Despite the current situation, the market there remains strong, he said, because the company has ties with the big retail players in the region.
And Corbellini is upbeat about the future for the company overall, despite the challenges presented to Europe by the impact of the war in Ukraine as he sees the U.S. market rebounding more swiftly.
In 2021, the company reported a turnover of 10 million euros, up 30 percent versus the previous year. The CEO expects revenues to triple by 2025.
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