MILAN — After catching the eye of many buyers during the fall edition of Shanghai Fashion Week and at Who’s Next in Paris earlier this year, Raxxy is making its European retail debut, landing at Modes.
The Chinese high-end down jacket label, which was founded by William Shen and boasts a patented woven technique, will be carried at the retailer’s premium locations in Milan, Paris and Saint Moritz, where a selection of fall 2023 pieces is also displayed in window installations.
The move is the first result of Raxxy’s partnership with Milan-based brand incubator N1 Srl, founded by Pasquale Morgese and Camilla Barindelli, who helped kick-start and grow labels such as Chiara Ferragni Brand and GCDS.
In particular, N1 will be Raxxy’s exclusive partner for distribution in European markets — including the U.S. and Russia — and will help the company to boost its brand awareness through marketing and communication activities.
“We think that Modes is the perfect partner to first introduce Raxxy in Europe,” said Morgese, who also serves as N1’s chief executive officer. He praised the retailer’s network of 22 stores worldwide and the key locations that will help secure premium visibility for Raxxy. He also trumpeted Modes’ attention to research and promotion of emerging brands instead of working exclusively with established fashion names.
Modes founder and CEO Aldo Carpinteri said that he instantly agreed to a partnership as soon as Morgese and his team showed him pictures of Raxxy’s creations. “At Modes we are obsessed with creativity, quality and uniqueness, all elements that I see in Raxxy,” he said, underscoring that the brand’s edgy and colorful aesthetic will give “our consumers exclusive access to something completely new and appealing.”
The Chinese brand was launched by Shen in 2020. After training in economics — he is a silver medal winner in China’s Mathematical Olympiad — Shen turned his talents to fashion, building a collection around luxury outerwear coming with 3D motifs inspired by traditional Chinese techniques, like bamboo weaving and traditional paper-cutting.
Creatively combining local culture, innovative craftsmanship and technology in his work, Shen rapidly garnered the attention of the industry with his designs standing out due to their lightweight 3D shapes, geometric patterns and bold color schemes.
Morgese said the brand blends “technology and artisanal craftsmanship in a way that I have never seen before.”
“William’s vision is absolutely unique, as well as his mission of revolutionizing traditional fashion through an authentic 3D approach to design,” he continued. “We already noticed the brand two years ago and studied it for a bit, until we decided it was time to intervene and distribute it.
“The product is completely different from what you see in the market today. There are plenty of down jackets but they all look similar. These are special, so we really think we’re putting out there designs with a strong identity and different from all the others,” said Morgese.
Raxxy debuted at Shanghai Fashion Week in 2020 and showed its second collection at the Great Wall of China, becoming the first Chinese brand invited to do so. Before showing in Milan during fashion week in February, the company developed a collaborative collection with Moncler for the Chinese market.
Although 95 percent of Raxxy’s offering is outerwear for women and men, collections include complementary designs such as pants and skirts crafted using the same techniques. Pieces currently available at Modes retail at prices ranging from 1,170 euros to 2,610 euros.
While Modes has the exclusive on this collection, the approaching sales campaign for the fall 2024 line will target a selection of top concept stores and department stores in Europe, said Morgese. The executive aims to have Raxxy’s European orders generate 3 million euros in the 2024 to 2026 period, or around 7.5 million euros to 8 million euros in retail sales.
Outside Europe, Raxxy is available online in its domestic market as well as stocked at Joyce in Hong Kong.
N1 was established in 2014 with the goal of distributing Italian footwear brands. The incubator widened its scope to fashion start-ups, with the ambition of supporting them in scaling their businesses and brand awareness.
Along with Barindelli, Morgese has been behind the launch of the Chiara Ferragni brand, having foreseen the potential of the project already in 2012, when it backed the launch of its footwear. In 2014, N1 started the distribution of the shoe collections along with the production and distribution of the ready-to-wear range and N1 still has a stake in the company.
Ditto for GCDS, with the Morgese and Barindelli families backing the brand founded by Giuliano and Giordano Calza in 2015. As reported, GCDS secured an investment by private equity firm Made in Italy Fund at the end of 2020.