Balenciaga to set up its first leather goods factory in Italy
Balenciaga is focusing on accessories more than ever. The brand, owned by French luxury group Kering and swiftly rising in popularity, has announced that it will open its first factory in Italy. The production site will measure around 10,000 square metres and will be dedicated to leather goods, featuring an adjoining training centre. The site will open in 2021 in Cerreto Guidi, a Tuscan town located 40 kilometres west of Florence.
“The new factory is intended to support the fashion house’s expansion plans,”said the brand in a statement, sharing that it will continue to rely on its current network of local suppliers. The group is investing in this new workshop to enable Balenciaga to improve the efficiency of its supply chain thanks to greater flexibility, and to increase its production capacities by having direct control over its activities in Italy, the brand said.
“Following a responsible and sustainable approach, the factory will revive an existing building, all whilst integrating an important architectural project,” said the brand. “The future opening of this new production unit will create up to 300 jobs, mainly from the local and regional community and with a particular focus on the unemployed.”
Craftspeople who are recruited will be trained internally in the attached training centre. This facility will be operational from the time of the initial restructuring of the building, which is an old leather workshop.
Under the leadership of creative director Demna Gvasalia, Balenciaga saw its sales jump to €1 billion ($1.2 billion) in 2019, according to analysts’ estimates, thanks in particular to its accessories line which saw phenomenal success with certain models of bags and sneakers.
In the third financial quarter, the Kering group’s brands (except for Gucci and Bottega Veneta which are listed as ‘other [fashion] houses’) saw sales increase by 11.7%, on a comparable basis, to €669.1 million, thanks to double-digit growth at both Balenciaga and Alexander McQueen.
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