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Contemporary Bags to look for further growth abroad under new ownership

by Marta Casadei

To help a promising Italian company grow further at international level. This is the objective behind the decision by 21 Investimenti - an investment group founded and led by Alessandro Benetton - to buy a majority stake in Contemporary Bags, a company owned by the Gianni Chiarini Group.

The Florence-based company was established in the late 1990s and ended 2016 with €35 million in revenues, 60% of which generated from foreign sales. It comprises two brands: Gianni Chiarini, a bags and accessories brand that underwent a gradual restyling, and Gum Gianni Chiarini Design, a contemporary and more accessible brand that was launched in 2013 and has developed significantly.

“The Gianni Chiarini Group has all the features 21 Investment looks for when selecting a project in which to invest. It embodies the trademark values of Made in Italy: focus on design and quality, manufacturing excellence, attention to customer taste and needs. It has huge growth potential, which could lead to a significant international development,” said Alessandro Benetton.

The transaction, whose value was not made public, was conducted through the “21 Investimenti III” fund and aims to significantly increase the revenue of the Florentine company through consolidation in established markets, the opening of new markets, the creation of a network of flagship stores (there are currently two flagship stores: Gianni Chiarini in Florence and Gum in Milan) and a new marketing strategy.

“I am excited to start a new phase of growth together with a prestigious partner with whom I worked on a project to accelerate development and strengthen the brand,” said founder Gianni Chiarini. Chiarini will stay on as a minority shareholder and will continue to play an active role in the company.Cristina Cortesi, a manager with executive experience at Furla and Bulgari Accessories, will take up the role of managing director.