Nothing seems to be able to stop Chanel’s headlong forward progress, as the Parisian luxury giant continues to make multiple supply chain investments. Especially in Italy, where the luxury industry’s artisanal and manufacturing infrastructure has been much better preserved than in France. In summer, Chanel bought Italian tannery Conceria Gaiera Giovanni, and now Italian footwear producer Ballin has been snapped up by the French label.
Chanel has confirmed to FashionNetwork.com that it has “bought a majority stake in luxury footwear manufacturer Ballin,” of which the label is “one of the main clients.” Chanel and Ballin have been working together for a number of years and, according to Chanel, “this investment heralds a more durable collaboration, giving continuity to a well-established relationship.”
In a press release, Chanel said that “the decision was prompted by a convergence of interests: Ballin’s need to rely on a solid partner ensuring long-term visibility to the company, and Chanel’s desire to strengthen a supply chain that is essential for its business, especially it's luxury business as a whole.”
Ballin was founded in 1945 by the brother's Guido and Giorgio Ballin. It is based in the town of Fiesso D'Artico in the northern Italian region of Veneto, along the river Brenta, one of Italy’s main footwear production hubs. Besides being a third-party supplier, Ballin also develops and sells its eponymous brand. Over the years, Ballin has managed to preserve the traditional local production expertise, while also enhancing it through the use of modern technology.
Chanel, which recently staged a remarkable show at the Grand Palais in the Paris Fashion Week’s grand finale, said that “in accordance with Chanel’s approach for this type of operation, Ballin will continue to collaborate with all its other clients.”
Ballin is the fourth Italian company acquired by the Parisian luxury giant in the last two years. Last year Chanel bought Samanta, a tannery specialized in printed and embossed leather, then it bought Conceria Gaiera Giovanni, specialized in the transformation and treatment of goat, lamb, and calf hides. In early July, Chanel finalized the acquisition of Piedmont-based yarn producer Vimar 1991, now part of Paraffection, the Chanel subsidiary that comprises the label's specialist craft ateliers.