Fashion and lifestyle brand Belstaff has confirmed that it has transferred its trademark and finance function back to the UK from Switzerland, so it can now genuinely call itself a British heritage brand.
Belstaff chief executive officer, Gavin Haig said: "Belstaff is proud to finally be able to genuinely call itself a modern British heritage brand. Our key operations stem from the UK and we now count three Brits among our senior management team.
“Only Belstaff production remains stationed in Italy, although our wax cotton is produced in Northern England and we hope to grow our UK production further.”
This news coincides with the appointment of chief financial officer Mike Woodcock, who joins Belstaff from Montblanc. Woodcock, who also previously worked with Haig at Dunhill, will be responsible for masterminding the move over of all IP, as the brand looks to straighten out its business model via SAP implementation, trim overheads, streamline working practices and reduce key offices from five, previously London, Milan, Switzerland, New York and Venice, to one London HQ with a Venice sourcing hub. The management team and design studio are to be houses above the London flagship.
Belstaff names new chief financial officer; and returns to the UK as legal entity
Belstaff has been undertaking a global expansion in the recent years, it has expanded its presence in the UK from one London store in 2013 to now three, two of which opened in the last 6 months, as well as having stores in Manchester, Glasgow, and an outlet at Bicester. The brand also has flagship stores in New York, Munich, Milan, Seoul, and Macau. Additionally, Belstaff Japan K.K. was set up in July 2015 with 4 Japanese stores set to open this year.
Expansion this year will also be aided by the acceleration of the women's business with the addition of new collections as the brand is introducing new shoe and accessories ranges, as theses categories currently count for 10 percent of Belstaff sales, which Haig predicts could be a third within three years.
The brand is further pushing its women’s collections by naming actress Liv Tyler as the face of the brand, with plans to return to print advertising in the second half. Tyler’s first film for Belstaff will be unveiled during New York Fashion Week, and her first capsule collection designed alongside Belstaff women's designer Delphine Ninous will be unveiled during London Fashion Week.
Other collections to follow includes a capsule collection designed with the sons of James Hunt in celebration of the 40th anniversary of their father's F1 championship win at Fuji in '76 and an attempt to break the land-speed record on two wheels.
Haig added: "We are a challenger brand, with plenty of discipline and having the bulk of our operations in London means we can move swiftly to expand. This will be a year of change and growth."