The Luciano Soprani men’s footwear line is being reintroduced on the market two years after production and distribution of the licensed collection were interrupted followed a major reorganization of the Italian fashion house. C.R.M., an Italian footwear producer located near Macerata, has been licensed to produce and distribute the new line starting from Spring-Summer 2005. The collection will continue to be designed in-house by the Luciano Soprani team, with the addition of specific models for certain foreign markets.

The new license - renewable after an initial 10-year period - covers the brand’s first line of men’s footwear. Produced in C.R.M.’s facilities in the Marche region of Italy, it will be distributed worldwide via the company’s own sales network, with a particular focus on emerging markets such as Russia and China. While one of the aims of the new license is to boost sales of the brand’s accessory segment, the other priority is to expand its export deliveries.

Luciano Soprani men’s footwear was originally produced by Vittorio Virgili. Another Italian shoe manufacturer, Via Dante, took over production and distribution for a single season two years ago. The Milanese fashion house, which generates annual sales of around €18 million, then decided to suspend sales prior to a relaunch of the brand in the apparel sector, for which it signed Roberto Biaggio, the famous Italian soccer player, as testimonial last year.

C.R.M. posts annual turnover of around €5 million of which 60 percent is exported. It produces its own line of men’s footwear under the Redwood label using exotic leathers such as crocodile and python. Alongside the new Luciano Soprani line, it will launch a new line of Redwood sports footwear for men and women for Spring/Summer 2005.