Along with publication of its annual results, Giorgio Armani announced that it was taking 100% control of its fast-fashion brand A/X Armani Exchange. The Milanese designer launched the mens and womenswear collection in 1991.
The young and urban line, consisting essentially of t-shirts, jeans, shirts, etc. is the group’s most affordable and caters mainly to the American market, while also made available in Asia.
To accelerate development of the nascent line, Giorgio Armani co-established the joint venture company Presidio Holdings Ltd in 2005 alongside Como Holdings, the company owned by the Singaporean tycoon Ong Beng Seng Singapore that, since 1994, has held the production and distribution license for A/X Armani Exchange in the United States, Canada, Central and South America and Asia-Pacific.
Initially, the Italian company held 25% of Presidio Holdings, the remaining 75% in the hands of Como Holdings. In 2008, however, Giorgio Armani acquired an additional 25% stake. It has now acquired the remaining 50% “ensuring full ownership of the brand, which has 270 stores and over 3,000 employees,” the company said in a statement.
“It is essential to maintain control over a brand that is so important, especially in the American market. This acquisition will allow us to expand distribution and have more say in the brand’s products and image,” said Giorgio Armani in an interview with Il Sole 24 Ore.
The goal for the group is to develop “the first global Italian fast-fashion brand targeting a young customer whose DNA is strongly Armani,” said the house.
With that in mind, last year A/X Armani Exchange recruited the renowned designer Patrick Robinson as creative. The American has also been charged with overseeing product development in order to provide creative direction for the label’s marketing division and to ensure brand consistency.