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Mr and Mrs Italy moving into Asia

Stores in Beijing and Hong Kong are planned by luxury utilitarian outerwear company Mr and Mrs Italy, which aims to double sales to US$100 million in the next five years.

Based in Rimini, the company is owned by its CEO, Andrea Bucalossi. Since creative director Geraldina Bassani Antivari joined the company four years ago, sales have increased from $1.5 million to $47 million.

She says Bucalossi is “highly organised” with “that Italian vibe of doing and moving and being quick and fast”, while the eight to 10 producers in Italy the company relies on know they need to continually research new techniques, cuts and furs.

“We don’t want to work with companies that don’t respect ethical laws,” says Antivari, who researches military uniforms to better understand functionality. Those elements are combined with modern accents like tri-coloured fur.

“We’re not doing the cutting-edge Margiela or Dior. We have to do a great product that has great appeal. It’s about being consistent and seeing what is missing in the market.”

With average retail prices ranging from $3000 to $5000 for outerwear, the label also offers embroidered fur-trimmed track suits, athleticwear, sportswear and such accessories as handbags and fur-trimmed slides. US supermodel Gigi Hadid and actress/singer Rihanna were among the first celebrities to wear the label publicly, doing so on their own.

Following a new store in Shanghai, another is planned for Beijing this year. Antivari says the detachable fur-lined hoods of hoodies have become popular with women in Asia, who carry them in their handbags and pull them out to wear in overly air-conditioned places.

There are also plans for a store in Hong Kong’s Harbour City.

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