Rodo — which has been a mainstay in Italy since 1956 — is making a bigger play for the U.S. market.
The family-owned brand will officially launch at Bergdorf Goodman this spring. It will kick things off with a two-day event on April 6 and 7 that showcases the heritage and craftsmanship of Rodo’s shoes and bags. The New York retailer has a department store exclusive with the label for the next year-and-a-half.
In the meantime, Rodo has also been growing stateside with independents such as Stanley Korshak, Leigh’s, Axel’s and Joseph. (Rodo’s major global accounts include Lane Crawford, Harrods and others.)
“We’re very excited to be in Bergdorf,” said Gianni Dori, CEO of Rodo, who added that the U.S. and Italy are the brand’s focus markets going forward. “We’re in more than 30 countries, but we don’t have a major market like we would have had in the past. It’s important to strategize our presence.”
The company, which has seen double-digit growth in recent years, has annual revenues of about $18 million. Its headquarters and factory are housed in Italy’s Marche region.
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The fall collection retails for $300 to $600, with boots retailing up to $950. “We believe what we’re doing is unique,” Dori said, adding that it’s an advantage for Rodo to control its own factory. “We have a certain type of workmanship that we pass from one generation to another.”
Gianni Dori’s father Romualdo Dori launched the brand, which continues to be run by the family. Gianni’s brother, Maurizio Dori is also active in the business, along with third generation family members Martina and Giorgio.
“My father had a strong business in the U.S., and now we’re rebuilding our presence in the market,” Gianni said. (After the 2008 crisis, Rodo — like many brands — lost traction with U.S. department stores struggling to stay competitive.)
In addition to producing its namesake collections, Rodo also makes shoes and handbags for a prestigious luxury label, which it declined to name.