Plans to suit the young

Plans to suit the young

Think of the Italian luxury brand Brioni and the image of an older man probably pops up.

After all, the 68-year-old label dresses the likes of Donald Trump, Nelson Mandela and Prince Andrew - generally men over 45.

But within the last five years, the fashion house - founded by tailor Nazareno Fonticoli and public relations expert Gaetano Savini in Rome - has started wooing younger men.

Its chief executive Francesco Pesci explains that this is part of the company's move to be "perceived as a brand standing for contemporary, timeless elegance and not as a traditional, tailored clothing brand".

He notes that in many of its markets, the Brioni customer is 45 and older.

Mr Pesci, 46, was in town earlier this month for the opening of Brioni's first stand-alone boutique here.

To attract a younger clientele, the brand added T-shirts to its collection in 2009. It has also made some of its shirts and trousers in the ready-to-wear collection closer fitting and designed jackets to be shorter.

But apart from just moving away from its traditional image, Mr Pesci has also noticed a potential for growth among younger shoppers.

He says: "In the past, younger people, even if they could afford luxury brands, they would not buy into those brands. They associated a luxury brand with status that they should acquire after a certain age; it's almost like a mark of recognition. Now, if they have the purchasing power, they want to enjoy."

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