Sergio Rossi forges ahead with development in China
“We’ve been in China for five years now, developed a sense of maturity and global vision, and this step is part of leading the brand into the future,” Christophe Mélard, president and CEO of Sergio Rossi, said to WWD.
The five boutiques in question are situated in Shanghai, Beijing, Ningbo and Shenzhen. Under the terms of a previous deal with Sichuan Lessin Department Store Co. Ltd., Sergio Rossi will partner with the department store to expand the shoe label’s business in second- and third-tier cities throughout China.
Mélard reported the company intends to keep its highly selective distribution even as it doubles the number of stores in China over the next three years.
The CEO did not disclose the details of the agreement with Shanghai Kutu, but he did report that the footwear label is witnessing double-digit growth in China.
Mélard stressed that the firm’s decision to buy back its stores “will help business, but also reinforce our message that we pay attention to our customers’ needs by designing specific collections for Chinese fittings and made-to-order pieces. They like certain colors and materials.”
With the assistance of creative director Francesco Russo, the brand hopes not only to evoke sexiness, femininity and glamour, but also to become known as what Mélard terms “a luxurious Italian shoe specialist.”
“We are about comfort for women and timeless pieces. We pay respect to the silhouette of a woman, and we are capitalizing on our know-how at a factory level, where our shoes require up to 160 manual steps of production,” he said.
The company currently boasts 42 stores internationally – including 11 stores in Asia – as well as another 36 franchise boutiques. Mélard says the label’s next step is to develop the handbag division.