Dribbling-Industrie Vallasciani 1955, based in the Marche district of Italy and specialized in the under-18s, will produce and distribute Buckle My Shoe children’s footwear from Spring 2005. This English children’s shoe brand was previously manufactured and distributed directly by the English company, apart from the junior line, which was already manufactured in the Marche by some 30 or so contract manufacturers. The brand prides itself on having supplied both children’s and adults’ models to the English royal family for three generations.
The Raynes family previously distributed Buckle My Shoe through a network of direct agents to around 750 clients worldwide, including more than 200 doors in the UK. There is also a network of 20 concept stores – 8 directly owned and 12 franchises – in major cities of the world including London, Birmingham, Melbourne and Hong Kong. Total annual sales stand at around €6 million on 200,000 pairs of footwear.
From Fall/Winter 2005-06 Dribbling will begin to introduce the line to Italy, Spain and Portugal, countries that the Raynes had not attempted to penetrate as they felt the product was not suited to local tastes. Dribbling will now have its say on the style front, though the Raynes will continue to design the collections. They will be produced in Dribbling’s own facilities in the Marche region.
The Italian company will make some changes to the network of agents, while the brands’ current client base will remain more or less the same, with the addition of new clients brought in by Dribbling. In Italy, the brand will be sold first in Felù stores, a franchise network opened last year by Dribbling that sells all its children’s brands. At a later stage it will go into top-end independent specialty stores. An agreement is currently being negotiated to get the Italian manufacturer's brands to be sold in Buckle My Shoe stores worldwide, the number of which should double from the current total of 20 by 2006.
Other brands in Dribbling’s portfolio include Roberto Cavalli Devils, Roberto Cavalli Angels Shoes, Fiorucci Junior, Simonetta, Walt Disney, Flexa Junior by Fratelli Rossetti and Giugiaro junior. A new license is currently under negotiation but the name is still top secret. Dribbling closed the first half of 2004 at €11 million, up by 10 percent over the same period last year. The firm’s new licenses are expected to boost sales by a further 30 percent in 2005.