Marco Marchi, the CEO of Liu Jo and Eccellenze Italiane, has purchased Blufin, the company behind luxury Italian brand Blumarine. Marchi has ambitious plans to revive and reposition the struggling brand. Despite the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, Marchi believes that Blumarine can find success in the market, especially in post-crisis periods when more extravagant styles tend to flourish.

When Marchi acquired Blumarine in late 2019, the brand was facing financial difficulties and had been experiencing negative EBITDA and losses for the past 15 years. To navigate the crisis and reestablish the brand, Marchi injected a significant amount of capital and appointed a new CEO. Originally planning to downsize the workforce, Marchi decided to utilize government aid and placed employees on furlough instead. Marchi also recognized the need for operational changes within Blufin, particularly regarding its distribution strategy.

A major shift in the distribution strategy involves focusing on the wholesale channel. Blumarine has partnered with the Riccardo Grassi showroom to establish collaborations with top retailers worldwide. In terms of the brand’s monobrand stores, most have been closed in recent years, with the exception of a few boutiques in Asia. The flagship store in Milan was also shuttered due to changes in the commercial landscape of Via della Spiga.

Marchi is dedicated to preserving Blumarine’s distinctively feminine and slightly opulent style. He believes that the brand’s unique DNA, which encompasses femininity, seduction, and a Mediterranean aesthetic, positions it for extraordinary potential in the women’s ready-to-wear segment. Marchi sees opportunities for growth in the apparel sector rather than accessories.

With the appointment of Nicola Brognano as the new creative director, Marchi aims to rejuvenate Blumarine and highlight the quality of garments that are 100% Made in Italy. The brand will continue to offer high-end products but at more accessible price points, positioning itself in the affordable luxury segment.

Marchi has been pleasantly surprised by Blumarine’s strong global following, particularly in Asia and Russia. Despite its decline over the past 15 years, the brand possesses a distinct aesthetic that distinguishes it in the market.

Aside from Blumarine, Blufin also owns Anna Molinari and Blugirl, both of which have plans for relaunching. However, the recently launched line, Be Blumarine, has been discontinued as it was deemed unfit for the market.

Although Liu Jo and Blumarine are both headquartered in Carpi, Italy, they will continue to operate as separate entities with their own distribution facilities and dedicated staff. Marchi believes that the only potential synergy within the group is in the financial aspects of the business.

Looking ahead, Marchi’s objective for Eccellenze Italiane is to acquire additional labels and build a fashion organization that can provide financial and structural synergies. He envisions creating a hub for valuable companies, offering them visibility, improved management structures, and easier access to credit. Ultimately, Marchi aims to make a significant impact on the Italian fashion industry.