New Antress Fashion Group goes international

ANSA, Monday 26 Dec 2011

A new conglomerate will open a flagship for their raging hit store, Manila Grace, and then has plans to expand to Asia and the Middle East

Manila Grace design

Three emerging Italian fashion companies have formed a powerful alliance and are planning major expansion in Italy and Asia.

Antress Industry, which is expected to generate 70 million euros in 2011, includes label Manila Grace and the lesser-known E-Go' and Doralice brands which produce trendy designs targeting the youth market. Manila Grace is popular in Italy with its chic line for women aged from 20 to 50 and has 26 stores across Italy. It doubled revenues in 2010 and again this year. E-Go' has seen revenues grow 90 per cent in the past two years and has just opened a new flagship store on Via Manzoni in Milan's stylish fashion district.

"Our aim is to boost our retail network in Italy and abroad, where we are currently only making 15 per cent of our revenues," Antress president and CEO Maurizio Setti, told ANSA.

Setti, who works with Manila Grace designer Alessia Santi and Sonia De Nisco, who designs for the other two fashion labels, said Antress is now setting its sights on China where he is planning to open new Manila Grace stores next year.

"Interesting markets for us are China first and foremost, followed by Japan, South Korea and Arab countries," said Setti. The company is in talks to open three Manila Grace stores in Hong Kong and Shanghai next year with a local partner.

Manila Grace, which accounts for 70 per cent of the group's revenues, is the only one of the three labels with strong brand recognition in Europe. It has a distribution network in France, Germany, Great Britain and Spain.

"Right now 85 per cent of our distribution is in Italy and the challenge for this label will be to grow abroad," said Setti of the Bologna-based label he bought in 2005.

Although Manila Grace has a young target like Doralice and E-Go', the brand's trendy clothes appeal to a wide range of women who want to be chic at affordable prices.

"The new strategy of Antress will be to maintain the DNA of the three brands it represents," Setti said. "That is creativity, an excellent relationship between quality and price and an all-Italian manufacturing process, while expanding its retail network and focusing on foreign markets".

E-Go' has five stores in Italy and is preparing to open new stores in the hip seaside resorts of Forte dei Marmi in Tuscany and Riccione on the Adriatic Coast after a Milan store opening, while Doralice currently has six stores.

Antress has 180 employees and is based in Carpi in the central Emilia Romagna region. It also controls three other companies including a network of seven malls, a footwear business in the Marche region, and a textile company called TexSpread.

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