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Italy’s Cividini revives its menswear line with Japan and the USA in mind

by Giulia Crivelli

“Ten years ago we decided to discontinue our menswear line in order to concentrate on womenswear which was developing more at the time,” recounts Piero Cividini, who currently runs the knitwear company with his daughter Anita.

“We founded the company at the end of the 80s and for a long time it was easy to grow in Italy as well as internationally. Gradually we understood that with a company of our size it was more difficult to maintain high standards of quality and customer service with men's and women's lines. Now we are ready to try again because the request for menswear is growing stronger in two of our main export markets, Japan and the United States.”

In 2015 Cividini exports were 85% of the business while the previous year's exports counted for 80%.

The company has its offices in Gorle, near Bergamo, and makes all its goods in Italy, thanks to a network of atelier suppliers.

“Revenues have been stable,” stresses Cividini. “The Italian market has been stagnant but thanks to exports we have been able to offset the drop in Russian sales with good business from the US and Japan. We are satisfied especially in light of the fact that every day brings a new economic surprise, from financial to geopolitical.”

Like the company's women's prêt-à-porter collections, which are shown during Milan Fashion Weeks twice a year, the new menswear collection is also based on knitwear.

The next women's collection will be shown in February while the men's collection will be part of Men's Fashion Week in Milan in January.

“We already have our wholesale distribution network for womenswear in place with salesmen and multi brand stores where we will also sell the menswear, but we have to promote the new line,” he said. “The line will be available where our womenswear is sold, bringing in a new kind of customer. In Europe we have our sights on Germany. Our price level is medium- to high-end which is the right value for money price point for customers looking for quality without spending an exorbitant amount of money for a sweater.”

“Handmade knitwear made from cashmere and superfine merino wool will be included in the new men's collection,” confirms Cividini. “Some pieces will be made by our master crafts women on vintage knitting machines for handmade knitwear. We hope to satisfy those customers who are willing to pay more for a piece whose quality is measured by its hand craftsmanship.”