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OTB Group acquires majority stake in luxury footwear manufacturer

Italy-based Calzaturificio Stephen has been a strategic supplier for the company for more than 20 years and makes Maison Margiela’s popular Tabi shoes.

OTB Group acquires majority stake in luxury footwear manufacturer

A gold Tabi boot manufactured for OTB Group's Maison Margiela by Calzaturificio Stephen. Courtesy of OTB Group

Dive Brief:

  • OTB Group has acquired a majority stake in luxury men’s and women’s footwear manufacturer Calzaturificio Stephen, according to a press release shared with Fashion Dive.
  • The Italy-based supplier has been a strategic supplier for the company for more than 20 years, and makes the popular Tabi shoes for OTB-owned brand Maison Margiela. This acquisition is part of an OTB strategy to optimize its supply chain by acquiring Italy-based companies to help in the development of its brands, per the release.
  • OTB’s other investments in the Italy-based supply chain include a financial and manufacturing support program for OTB suppliers called C.A.S.H. (Credit Facilitated Suppliers Help), and a communications campaign called M.A.D.E. Made in Italy, Made Perfectly (Manual Dexterity, Artisanal Skill, Dedication and Excellence), which promotes Italy-based design and works in tandem with Italy’s Minister of Enterprises and the Made in Italy initiative, per the release.

Dive Insight:

In addition to Margiela, OTB owns fashion brands Jil Sander, Marni, Viktor&Rolf and Diesel, and also owns manufacturers Brave Kid and Staff International.

While financial details of the acquisition were not released, shares in Calzaturificio Stephen were purchased through Staff International, and the release said Stefano Bertollo, the current CEO of the 70-person firm, will continue in his role.

OTB added that its stake “will ensure greater stability and even faster and more solid growth” for the Vicenza-based company, which was established in 1967 by Stefano Bertollo’s father Francesco Bertollo.

“Made in Italy became our trademark, thanks to a close collaboration with the companies in our incredible supply chain: a unique asset that makes us extremely competitive on international markets,” Renzo Rosso, OTB chairman and founder, said in the release. “This is why as a Group we invest in local players who have built the reputation of Italian fashion around the world, to guarantee their continued growth and increasingly sustainable development.”

Calzaturificio Stephen is run by siblings Stefano, Antonella and Valeria Bertollo. OTB will provide the company with resources aimed at “supporting the company’s further development and evolution in terms of technology, innovation, and sustainability,” per the release.

This is the second production partner acquisition for OTB’s Staff International. It acquired a majority interest in leather goods atelier Frassineti in 2023.

In OTB’s 2022 sustainability report, released in June 2023, the company touted its commitment to using a localized supply chain, and said “more than 71%” of its 1,110 suppliers were located in Italy, or “80% when the luxury segment is included.” The report also said 57% of its total supply chain consists of companies located close to OTB’s main buildings.

OTB Group recently reported fiscal 2023 net sales of 1.8 billion euros, or about $1.95 billion at current exchange rates, which represented a 9.1% year-over-year increase from 2022.

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