Baldinini and Arthur Arbesser join forces for shoe capsule – WWD
MILAN – Footwear specialist Baldinini aims to become bigger and more trend-oriented as part of rebranding strategies led by its CEO Christian Prazzoli, who was appointed to the post in June 2020.
The first fruits of the redesign include the brand’s first collaboration with an established designer: Arthur Arbesser. The Austrian-born designer based in Milan was commissioned to create a capsule collection of 10 styles for men and women.
They will be officially unveiled at the next edition of Pitti Uomo, which will take place from January 11 to 13, with a dedicated event to be held at the Fortezza da Basso.
“Fashion brands can no longer be egocentric and self-referential, they need cross-pollination and Arthur Arbesser was the perfect match,” Prazzoli stressed.
Asked why he brought in a designer who is not immediately associated with the footwear industry, the CEO stressed that this was precisely the intention, as he and Baldinini – now equipped with a revamped and bolder logo – wanted to experiment and capture the new creative energy of someone who was not in the same trade as theirs.
Arbesser said he took up the challenge of translating his talent for graphics and colors into high-end shoe designs with enthusiasm and curiosity.
The collaboration’s release includes men’s brogues with sturdy soles, as well as women’s cowboy ankle boots and combat boots crafted from pony skin and embellished with iconic Arbesser art patterns.
Although the company has appointed a phantom creative director and the CEO has ruled out naming a public figure for the role, he admitted that the company aims to launch several collaborations throughout the year, always “doing so. appeal to creatives from outside the [footwear] world ”, and make this approach an endemic component of the new strategy.
In the face of growing competition from big names with marketing prowess, Baldinini expects to tap into the promising affordable luxury segment, leveraging its high-quality Made in Italy offering. The latter has been streamlined and halved as part of a streamlining and tuning process.
“My job here is to lead the transition from the business ‘as is’ to [what it needs] be, ”Prazzoli said. “The pandemic accelerated trends and spurred needs that were already there. I joined the company with the precise task of doing something new and different, ”he added, noting that new hires have been made in all departments to add a new perspective to decisions. commercial.
On the business side, the CEO is focused on growing the brand by pursuing different avenues.
Unlike its competitors, Bladinini has always been a retail-oriented company and Prazzoli believes this is an asset to be further exploited.
The brand has 120 units among flagship stores owned and operated by franchises. Prazzoli’s goal is to expand Baldinini’s presence in Eastern Europe, Germany and Russia. In the latter country, it has nine stores but plans to increase this number to 20 within two to three years.
Other key regional targets include China, where it has four stores in the Beijing area, as well as South Korea and the United States, drawing on local partners.
The CEO said the company was hit by the pandemic and saw a 35% drop in revenue in 2020 compared to the previous year. With sales set to jump 10% this year, Prazzoli predicts the company will hit the € 45 million mark in year-end figures.