Bruno Magli is beginning 2015 with a new owner.
The Italian heritage label has been acquired by branding and licensing firm Marquee Brands, which purchased it from Bruno Magli SpA. (The brand was briefly owned by Da Vinci Invest AG, and before that, Fortelus Capital Management LLP.)
“Marquee Brands was created to acquire and grow high-quality brands through product and geographic expansion. Bruno Magli is one of the most revered Italian legacy brands. We have already begun to secure partnerships in new categories with true best-in-class partners for growth at better retailers across the globe,” said Michael DeVirgilio, president of Marquee Brands, in a statement.
“Rarely do brands with the stature of Bruno Magli become available with an untapped opportunity to market, expand and grow into a lifestyle brand. We have a thorough brand strategy already created that will allow it to naturally develop into new categories, expanding retail to the products Bruno Magli was always meant to offer,” added Cory Baker, COO of Marquee Brands in a statement. “Bruno Magli is the epitome of luxury, and we are excited for this to be our first jewel in the crown of our growing portfolio.”
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New York-based Marquee Brands plans to operate Bruno Magli’s corporate offices out of New York, but production and design will continue to be in Italy. Creative director Max Kibardin left the brand late last year.
Under Fortelus, Magli had been targeting the U.S., but the brand never gained traction.
The acquisition comes as other brand-management firms continue to snap up footwear companies. Sequential Brands, Authentic Brands and Iconix have been active in the space for the past few years. Sequential acquired And 1 and Heely’s, among others, while Authentic recently bought the Collective Licensing group of brands from Payless.
Marquee said it will seek additional acquisitions as well.