Mountain and outdoor apparel specialist Millet Mountain Group, part of the Swiss holding Calida Group, wants to become one of the most important European outdoor and accessory companies by 2021. To reach its target it is now stepping into urban and more lifestyle-driven sportswear while increasing its focus on sustainable apparel.
Hervè Locatelli, Millet’s sales and marketing director for Southern Europe, is an expert in the young and casual market with previous experience at Adidas and Levi’s, among others. Here, he explains how the group wants to achieve its targets.
Can you describe Millet Group’s brands?
Millet Mountain Group gathers together a conglomerate of three historical highly specialized outdoor and sports apparel brands: Millet, Eider and Lafuma. This group has French origins though it has become part of Calida Group, a Swiss holding that also owns brands like Oxbow and the underwear brand Aubade among others.
The three brands of Millet Mountain Group are Millet, technical and Alpine focused brand; Lafuma, horizontal accessible urban travel brand offering footwear, appparel and accessories, though specialized in functional backpacks; and Eider, a transversal protective brand that can be used for skiing but also in the city.
What are the group’s main aims and how are its brands evolving?
We want to become one of the first five most important European outdoor and accessory brands by 2021.
To reach this target we also want our brands to evolve and become more lifestyle and urban-oriented. Starting from f/w 2019-20, for instance, Millet has also started offering 5% of its collection including more mountain lifestyle–oriented pieces. By end 2021 we expect this percentage to grow and count for 15% of the collection.
We also aim to further differentiate our product selection. Until now it offered a unisex collection, but we want to start focusing more on products aimed at women and, generally, tighter fitting and available in quieter hues such as black, greens and greys–in keeping with our aim to expand our selection and step in a more urban-minded segment.
While taking this direction will you also start selling through different types of stores?
Among our clients there are, for instance, Tutto Per Lo Sport in Milan as its offer conjugates outdoor products with more urban pieces. Though also Florence’s Luisa Via Roma is selling a part of our selection. We want to continue in this direction. Lafuma is already more urban-minded as it considers itself an urban travel brand. For this reason, in addition to targeting sports apparel stores we want to serve a wider clientele beyond the purely sporty one.
Will you launch any new projects to reach your goal?
For f/w 2019, through our Japanese filial, we will launch a new collaboration between Millet and White Mountaineering.
Millet has also recently launched Trilogy, a collection characterized by the “87” logo. It is inspired by the mythical Alp trilogy enterprise by hiker Christophe Profit who reached the three peaks of Grandes Jorasses, Eiger and Cervino alone one after the other in 1987–from here the number of its logo. This collection will be worn for the next three years by mountain guides of Chamonix, Grindelwald and Cervino. Though this 87 logo is different as it has can also be appreciated for a more urban appeal.
Are you involving any designer or a different design team for this new direction?
No, we always work with our own internal team. Though for Eider, for f/w 2019, we are launching Eider x Esther Stocker, the Contrast capsule collection born from a collaboration with the Italian artist Esther Stocker. This selection carries the artist’s own handwriting focused on black and white, geometric elements and a mix of vertical and horizontal lines.
Is the group involved in offering any responsibly made product?
Within our offer, 55% of the clothes we produce are Low Impact certified, that is they follow an internal standard monitored by our independent partner, AIR (Agence Innovation Response). Every season the agency checks and validates the results. A Low Impact product has to either be made with 40% of eco-friendly materials (recycled, bio-based, biodegradable and similar characteristics), or be made with at least 80% Bluesign approved fabrics.
Moreover, all of our sleeping bags are RDS certified, and 100% of our backpacks and 72% of our clothing collections are Oeko-Tex certified. In addition, 41% of our clothing collection is made with Bluesign approved fabrics and 73% of our clothes use a new long-lasting eco-friendly water repellent finishing, a PFC free DWR finish.
For f/w 2019-20, Lafuma is also launching a new down jacket made with recycled components only, such as an internal padding made with recycled down, and a fabric out of Repreve fiber, made with recycled PET.
This year, within the trade show Sport Achat, our group has reached the first position of the Ecosport Awards for the “Management Sustainable” category.
Since ten years Lafuma also promotes a special responsible operation of cleaning the Mer de Glace glacier’s tongue involving its employees and sensitive consumers.
How is Millet Group performing?
It registered €100 million sales in 2018. Out of total revenues 49% are from France, 32% from the rest of Europe and 19% from the rest of the world. Sixty percent of sales are from winter, and 40% from summer. Its headquarters are in France where it also sells through 12 own stores. It owns five more own stores in Europe, four in Japan, and two in China and sells through 3,000 multibrand stores all over the world.