Giada SpA, the company behind its own premium jeans brand Hand Picked and other brands produced and distributed under licensing agreements such as Jacob Cohen, Karl Lagerfeld Denim and Villebrequin, is focused on offering eco-friendly jeans while expanding its business globally. Franco Catania, president, Giada, explained how he wants to achieve these goals.
How is Hand Picked evolving?
We are strongly focused on increasing our commitment in preserving the environment and saving the planet–it's our duty. As our productive facilities–all based in Italy–already use solar panels to save electricity, we recycle up to 60% of the water we use, and reuse remains from pumice stones and scrap fabrics for other uses. We also aim to offer always more eco-friendly products. For f/w 2020-21, Hand Picked's product selection Neo-Tech Nature offers five-pocket jeans made with fabrics that contain organic cotton and recycled elastane. They are completed with an eco-compatible label made with Appleskin, a made in Italy faux leather material that is produced by reusing leftovers from biological apple peel scraps dried, crushed and then compacted. Garments are washed with special eco-friendly washes that reduce water, energy and chemical substance consumption and have a lower impact on workers health. Thanks to a special technology by Tonello we can reduce water consumption per wash from the average 100-120 liters to about 10-12 liters. We also analyzed our productive cycle using Jeanologia's EIM measuring tool. Through it Giada gets an environmental impact score that is low thanks to its eco-washes.
What are the Hand Picked's next targets?
The brand will be sold through 250 stores for f/w 2020-21 and aims to reach about 400 stores this year. Our aim is to sell through about 1,000 doors by about 2022-2023. When we will reach about 500 stores we want to open our first monobrand stores. Today Italy represents our main market, though Germany and Benelux countries count for 25% of our sales. We are selling through excellent partners like Fashion Club 70 in Benelux and Cagol in Germany. We will soon launch an important project in collaboration with Sant'Eulalia in Barcelona, a key store for Spain, while Milan's Rinascente hosted shop windows dedicated to us within Milan Menswear Shows. Starting from s/s 2021 we will enter Japan to be followed by expanding in Korea and through our own filial in the US, where we are already registering a very good sell-out, for instance, through Neiman Marcus. For our licensed brands we want to consolidate especially Karl Lagerfeld Denim and Villebrequin by starting new product categories after starting new specific strategies and agreements.
A new manager has recently joined Giada. Who is he?
We recently hired Jean Michel Wohlmann, a skilled and determined manager who is very familiar with the international market and the premium jeans segment. He is our commercial director and will take care of the direction and development of our commercial network both for our licensed brands (Jacob Cohen, Villebrequin and Karl Lagerfeld Denim), and for our own brand Hand Picked. His challenge is to make our company become always more involved in the worldwide distribution panorama.