Chanel Buys Majority Stakes in Italian Shoemaker Ballin, Tannery Gaiera

PARIS – Chanel continues to bolster its network of suppliers with the acquisition of majority stakes in Italian luxury shoe maker Ballin and tannery Conceria Gaiera Giovanni.

The French luxury house has been snapping up partner companies as the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic threatens many smaller companies in the luxury supply chain.

“Chanel is a long-term client of both companies, and this decision was motivated by converging interests: their need to team up with a solid partner capable of ensuring long-term visibility, and a desire for Chanel to support sectors essential to its business and to the luxury sector in general,” Chanel said of the two recent acquisitions.

Ballin, located around 20 miles from Venice, was founded in 1945 and employs 200 people, with an annual production capacity of more than 250,000 pairs of shoes, according to its website.

Founded in 1946, Conceria Gaiera Giovanni is located near Milan and specializes in producing goat, lamb and calf leathers. It has been working with fashion brands since the Nineties and has recently upped its sustainability efforts, with the introduction of a metal-free lambskin in 2018.

As is the case for the other companies in Chanel’s Paraffection division, which also houses specialty workshops like embroiderer Lesage and feather maker Lemarié, the companies will continue to work with external customers.

In July, Chanel said it had acquired the creation, development and manufacturing branch of the yarn company Vimar 1991, which provides the thread for many of its signature tweed fabrics.

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