Italian group Sinv acquires stake in Dirk Bikkembergs

"Our goal is to create a great company around Dirk Bikkembergs, so that it can grow internationally. There’s a lot of interest in the brand, especially from various Asian groups. But for now, we’re not for sale. First we want to reach a certain size," Maurizio Pizzuti, president of the Italian company Zeis Excelsa, told FashionMag.com during its fashion show held on Tuesday morning in Milan. Zeis Excelsa acquired the brand in 2011.
Dirk Bikkembergs look for next winter

The first step in the construction of the future company: the recent investment of a new shareholder, Venetian fashion group Sinv. Sinv produces Dirk Bikkembergs’ ready-to-wear under license, while Zeis Excelsa, which specializes in footwear, continues to drive accessories. 

The brand purchased by Maurizio Pizzuti was previously owned by the company Levitas, 70% controlled by Zeis Excelsa and 30% by Belgian designer Dirk Bikkembergs, who founded the brand in 1989. 

Zeis Excelsa is now down to 60%. Sinv has acquired minority stake of just over 16% and has an option to acquire the remaining share of the fashion designer, who will soon leave the company. 

In 2014, Dirk Bikkembergs generated a turnover of 80 million euros (nearly 120 million euros for the entire group Zeis Excelsa, which also owns other brands). In two years, the sport couture brand has opened 80 stores in 40 countries and generates 85% of its sales abroad, mainly in Russia, Germany, France, China and the Middle East. 

"We want to join forces with a partner like Sinv, which can bring us its apparel expertise and contacts in the US market, where we would like to go next season. The United States is our fourth largest market in terms of our e-commerce sales, while we still don’t have any multibrand clients there," said Pizzuti. 

In March, Sinv purchased ready-to-wear brand Piazza Sempione, mainly distributed in the United States. Founded in 1975 by Ambrogio Dalla Rovere in Schio near Vicenza, this group also controls the men’s apparel and accessories brand Roda. Furthermore, it produces and distributes lines under license (Love Moschino) and owns 30% of Moschino.

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