Nov 11, 2023
Palm Angels is driven by menswear, which generates 80% of its annual revenue. The revelation comes from Francesco Ragazzi, founder and creative director of the streetwear label managed by the New Guards Group (NGG), the same that launched Off-White and is now owned by e-tail giant Farfetch. The exact value of Palm Angels’s revenue is unknown – while NGG’s parent company, owned by Portuguese businessman José Neves, is listed on the stock exchange – but it greatly exceeds €100 million. And, according to Ragazzi, there is “huge scope for growth in womenswear and accessories, for example sneakers and eyewear.”
Expanding Palm Angels into womenswear means the label’s style needs to evolve.
“Palm Angels’s womenswear has always been regarded as a derivation of its men’s wardrobe. To win over a different type of woman, we need more feminine products,” said Ragazzi, who also underlined the importance of creative collaborations as growth drivers.
“A young label like ours needs [collaborations] to enter new categories, for example with Moncler for outerwear, with Tod’s for formal wear, Missoni for womenswear, Vilebrequin for beachwear. Our collaborative efforts are always driven by business, as well as brand image, considerations. We tend to choose extremely well-known labels with a strong DNA, I like to give a fresh twist to iconic products,” said Ragazzi.
In a few days, Palm Angels will drop a collection jointly developed with Della Valle-owned Tod’s. A celebration of Italian style as “one of the pillars on which I built my label,” said Ragazzi, who is keen to start a conversation on Italian craftsmanship with the younger generations.
Palm Angels began to rise to new heights under NGG’s impulse.
“It acted as our launch pad and facilitator, but behind it there has to be a long-term development vision,” said Ragazzi, before talking about his early days in fashion.
“I started at 22. I wanted to be a photographer, but I joined Moncler’s press office. I stayed [at Moncler] for 12 years, until I became the label’s creative director. [Moncler’s CEO] Remo Ruffini gave me the chance to become what I am today,” said Ragazzi.
Ragazzi continued to cultivate his passion for photography while at Moncler, until he launched the Palm Angels photo project with his partner Davide de Giglio, portraying the Los Angeles skateboarding scene with a fashion twist.
“For three years, I worked for both Moncler and Palm Angels, often long into the night. Even before designing a collection, I had created a brand, a manifesto,” said Ragazzi.
Palm Angels’s first lookbook was released in 2014, followed the following year by a debut fashion collection. “Fashion is an extremely volatile, cyclical system, you need to have a strong imprinting. I’m trying to assemble things that are normally distant. I have combined a U.S. street culture perspective with Italian style and luxury, notably in terms of materials and details,” concluded Ragazzi.
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