Arezzo & Co. acquires Paris Texas shoe brand
Paris, Texas, Brazil, and Monza, Italy, find they have a lot in common when it comes to sexy footwear.
The South American shoe leader has taken a 65 percent stake in the uber-popular Milan-based stiletto boot-centric brand Paris Texas, founded by Annamaria Brivio and Massimo Baltimora.
Along with the new stakeholder, Arezzo & Co. has taken ownership of the medium-sized shoe factory in Monza, Italy, that produces the luxury shoe brand with plans to expand the current production of the Alexandre Birman brand, the top-tier brand under Arezzo & Co. The move by the company—which also owns Schutz, Anacapri, Brizza, Fiever, Alme, Reserva, My Shoes, and clothing brand Carol Bassi, among others— indicates an international merger and acquisition expansion strategy.
At the Paris, France showroom with the fall/winter 2023 collection on display, chief executive Alexandre Birman told the crowd it was a full-circle moment for the family-owned shoe and apparel parent company founded by his father fifty years ago.
"Today is like the first day on the job with this new venture. My father looked at a map of Italy when he founded the family business, so to partner with a great Italian brand that loves design, sales, marketing, and Brazil is life-changing for all of us. Paris Texas is a jewel," he said.
The move, which Birman further explained to FashionNetwork.com post-press conference, is the first step in a global expansion.
"We have come to the U.S. first, and now we will incorporate the Italian design heritage into our brands," said Birmna, adding that the factory will start to produce at least a third of the Alexandre Birman line in the coming months.
According to Birman, Arezzo & Co. will bring a corporate structure environment to the family-run medium-sized shoe factory by strengthening the operations while supporting the shoe start-up, especially in sales and distribution. The factory currently produces about 120,000 pairs of shoes yearly.
"My role is to open the doors. Anna Maria and Massimo will do a beautiful job with their team. Structurally speaking, it's just a partnership; I am just the chairman of the Board," he added.
Speaking to the crowd, Brivia said the shoe fit.
"[Birman] is the right partner. We didn't want an investor but a partner with creative expertise and passion for sharing the same vision," said Brivia.
She acknowledged the partnership would allow Paris Texas to boost international expansion through wholesale channels and open the direct retail market to increase brand awareness worldwide. The founders will maintain a 35% in the business.
It will also pave the way for the brand's first retail store.
"We will open a flagship Paris Texas store in New York by September and establish a wholesale showroom to conduct the commercial activity there," Birman confirmed.
The new venture is part of a growth spurt for Arezzo & Co., especially pronounced during 2020, when he acquired clothing brands such as Carol Bassi.
"We did well during Covid and didn't suffer too much because we were prepared for the pandemic digitally speaking. I had a strong cash flow position that I applied to acquire businesses. Twenty-five percent of the business is now apparel," he added.
According to a release, Arezzo is "identifying SMEs with strong awareness where the conglomerate can add unique vertical product design and sourcing capacity, omnichannel distribution, especially in the U.S., and finance capacity to leverage growth through multiple sales channels."
Cash flows are seemingly still flush, and a new deal with Macy's will surely aid in that area. "We signed a huge deal with Macy's to stock about 100,00 shoes from one of our other Arezzo brands in over 100 stores," said Birman.
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