The Italian denim and ready-to-wear brand Dondup has a new owner, the Made in Italy Fund, a private equity fund managed by Quadrivio & Pambianco.
Founded in 1999 in the Italian province of Pesaro and Urbino by entrepreneurs Massimo Berloni and Manuela Mariotti, Dondup had belonged to majority owner L Catterton (part of LVHM) since 2015.
Since its early days it has been a 100% produced in Italy brand characterized by careful manufacturing and craftsmanship-driven attention to detail. In recent times it has started offering D/Zero (also see here), a selection of denim pieces treated with exclusive certified and traceable washes and finishing, entirely made in Italy.
Dondup is Made in Italy Fund’s seventh investment and its fourth in the fashion sector. The other fashion-related entities owned by Made in Italy Fund are 120% Lino, an Italian manufacturer of linen and natural-fiber garments, Rosantica, a brand specialized in gem bags and precious accessories, and CGDS, a made in Italy streetwear brand.
Women’s look by Dondup
Since 65% of Dondup’s current turnover is generated in Italy, the acquisition aims to increase the brand’s expansion in Europe and the US. Along with it, the fund wants to pursue the sharing of initiatives of production, marketing and communication. These changes will foster sustainability in the medium and long term guaranteeing continuity to the offer that already adheres to the made in Italy approach and embodies the concept of sustainable fashion, while keeping its environmental impact to a minimum.
Matteo Anchisi, Dondup’s CEO, has become shareholder of the fund. “I’m pleased to be able to embark upon this commitment with an entity of the caliber of Made in Italy Fund: our shared vision has made the path a smooth one right from the outset. Its respect for the direction Dondup has taken–from its transition to 100% made in Italy products to its vigilant attention for sustainability aspects, through to its desire to guide the brand to grow gradually and constructively–has convinced me to invest alongside the fund, and I’m sure we’ll accomplish great things together,” said Anchisi.
Similarly, the fund aims to continue and heighten the path that the denim brand has taken. “With Dondup we intend to redefine the international character of an already well-known label, to enhance it with greater identity and desirability,” added Francesca Roni, operating partner for Made in Italy Fund. “We plan to create a center for the reuse, recycling and reselling of jeans products as an action to convey the brand’s values of sustainability and honesty, and to prompt customer loyalty among the younger generations.”
Made in Italy Fund mostly focuses on small- and medium-size companies that operate in key productive districts of Italy from the fashion, design, beauty and food segments. Managing the fund are Pambianco Strategia di Impresa, a consulting company specialized in business strategy, and Quadrivio Group that has been working in private equity for over 20 years.
Men’s look by Dondup
“Over the last few years, management at Quadrivio Group has placed increasing attention on ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) issues, constantly favoring sustainable and responsible investments. Measuring, managing and mitigating environmental, social and governance risks is now an essential requirement for private equity operators, which responds to the growing sensitivity developed by investors with respect to these issues,” added Quadrivio Group.
Matteo Marzotto, previous president and minority shareholder of Dondup, has left the company.
“I am happy the company has been appreciated an given worth especially by an Italian fund that did a good deal. My four and half years as operative president in Dondup were characterized by gentle though decided turn around. At the end of 2016 the EBTDA was about €9million an in 2019 they were almost €15million. And considering that 2020 was the year of Covid-19 the company showed an excellent resilience confirming the quality of the project,” commented Marzotto.