January 10, 2020 / 3:48 PM / 2 months ago

Saint Laurent to open new leather goods factory in Italy, add 300 jobs

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Saint Laurent, a brand of French luxury group Kering, is seen in Paris, France, July 5, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/File Photo

SCANDICCI, Italy (Reuters) - French fashion label Saint Laurent, part of Kering (PRTP.PA), will open a new manufacturing site for handbags and wallets outside Florence, the latest luxury house to expand its presence in Italy’s leather goods heartland.

Saint Laurent’s President and CEO Francesca Bellettini told reporters on Friday the label would move 340 workers to the new 29,000 square-meters site in the industrial district of Scandicci and hire around 300 more people.

Saint Laurent signed a 27-year contract with Italian state holding Cassa Depositi e Prestiti to rent out two buildings which had long been abandoned but will be renovated and handed over to the label in September 2022.

The Tuscan hub will make prototypes of leather bag and wallet designs, carry out manufacturing, research and development and also train workers. Saint Laurent has also been investing to expand its shoe manufacturing site in Italy’s northeastern region of Veneto.

With sales of leather goods outperforming the global luxury market, Scandicci and the surrounding area have been booming in recent years as high-end fashion houses expand factories and buy artisan workshops to tighten their grip on the supply chain.

Reporting by Silvia Ognibene, writing by Silvia Aloisi. Editing by Jane Merriman

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