MILAN, June 20 Italian luxury goods group Tod's
has hired Italian designer Andrea Incontri as creative
director for menswear, the company said on Friday, as it seeks
to strengthen its reputation for making clothes and accessories
as well as shoes.
Group sales for the maker of bobble-bottomed loafers priced
as high as 400 euros ($540) have lagged behind those of rivals
in recent quarters, which analysts have attributed partly to its
heavy reliance on footwear.
That core business accounts for three quarters of the
company's revenue, but luxury shoes tend to offer lower margins
than handbags and other accessories because they have to be made
in many sizes and take up valuable storage space.
The appointment of 43-year-old Incontri, described by
fashion magazine Vogue this year as being "on the path to
success", follows a catwalk debut for the brand's womenswear
last year under the creative direction of ex-Gucci designer
"His arrival will enrich our men's collections, giving our
clients ever more choice, especially in ready-to-wear," Tod's
Chairman and Chief Executive Diego Della Valle said in a
statement announcing Incontri's appointment.
Tod's, which also owns the Hogan, Fay and Roger Vivier
brands, has said that the staging of fashion shows should help
it to generate publicity and boost credibility for the brand.
Tod's reported flat first-quarter revenue last month, with a
decline in like-for-like sales offset by income from new stores.
Close peer Salvatore Ferragamo, meanwhile, reported a
3 percent bounce in first-quarter sales.
($1 = 0.7366 Euros)
(Reporting by Isla Binnie; Editing by David Goodman)