Giambattista Valli will be launching an activewear capsule collection in the coming year and is even gearing up to make a retail push, marking the first steps to grow his label under its new partnership with the billionaire family Pinault.
Giambattista Valli is a designer more commonly known for his flirty cocktail dresses and sculptural evening gowns, but in recent seasons has shifted into a brand with a more casual presence. In recent shows, he has brought out taffeta jackets with Nike running tights for fall and has introduced logo-printed denim for spring 2018.
Valli will be added to the list of luxury brands trying to get a profit out of the increasingly growing athletic garment market. According to Euromonitor, sports-inspired footwear has increased by 10 percent and sports-inspired apparel has increased by 6 percent in 2016.
By the end of his decade-long partnership with Italian luxury outerwear firm Moncler as the creative director of its Gamme Rouge line, Valli will showcase his new namesake activewear collection of 50 to 60 pieces, including coats, puffer jackets, sweatshirts, and tracksuits, to customers in January.
“It’s a capsule collection where we will express a more functional side of the brand, while remaining faithful to the atmosphere of contemporary chic that is part of its DNA,” Valli told WWD in an exclusive interview.”
“I love the idea of introducing new materials to active wear by applying the house’s know-how in handling certain fabrics to this segment,” he added. “It’s extremely Valli, extremely sophisticated, extremely luxurious — but on the other hand, today’s customer mixes Uniqlo with luxury brands.”
The base prices for the collection will range from 1,303 USD to 2,962 USD. The line is expected to be dropping in June of 2018 to go along with the pre-fall season. The collection will be a color-coded label, it will be sold in Giambattista Valli boutiques and select specialty stores, and will even be displayed on the catwalk alongside the main collection.
Ever since Artémis, the private investment of the Pinault family, took a stake in Maison Valli in June, the two companies have been devising a plan to develop the brand into an all-around franchise, Valli said.
“We really want to develop the brand in every direction. This is just the start,” he explained. With the recent expiration of his contract with Italian fur-maker Ciwifurs for his own fur coats and jackets, Valli has now brought all production and distribution in-house.”
Maison Valli was founded back in 2004 and has produced haute couture, the Giambattista Valli and Giamba ready-to-wear lines has gained quick recognition as a very important fashion and luxury player, dressing some of the best-named socialites and celebrities like Amal Clooney, Julianne Moore, Nicole Kidman, and Diane Kruger.
“Over 12 years as an independent label, I created a niche for this house. It’s nice to be able to apply that formula, that magic, to products that are a little unexpected for the brand,” Valli said.
“I think today, the concept of luxury has become a little duty-free everywhere. It’s always the same thing. If you’ve been to one store, you’ve seen them all. And I love this idea of slightly more individual, dedicated spaces that each have their own personality,” he said.
“With the arrival of a French family, the brand has entered France’s heritage. The longer-term ambition is to turn it into an exceptional and historic brand,” Valli said. “We really want to explore the brand, to give it the widest scale possible while keeping that sense of privilege that you have when you approach it.”