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Michael Bastian splits from Brunello Cucinelli

Designer Michael Bastian has split with his long-time licensee Brunello Cucinelli and will now manufacture and distribute his own menswear range with prices reduced by 15-20%.

Bastian partnered with Brunello Cucinelli, known for its luxury cashmere and tailoring, five years ago to launch a menswear range.The original licence was for ten years but it is understood Bastian paid an undisclosed fee to Cucinelli to cut it short. Bastian will now set up an independent company to manufacture and distribute his signature menswear collection.

Bastian said: “We reached the point where we realised from a financial standpoint that we could operate on our own. This will give us a lot more control over pricing and sales — and pricing has been the biggest issue in terms of growing the business at retail.”

Bastian said the aim was to make the collection more accessible by reducing the prices by 15-20%. He has been in talks with potential financial partners and will continue to seek an investor to build the business, with the aim of opening stores.

The first collection to come from Bastian’s solo efforts will be spring 12. A collection will not be produced for autumn 11 and Bastian will not attempt New York Fashion Week in February.

Earlier this year Bastian teamed up with Swedish lifestyle brand Gant to produce a 50-piece collection for autumn 10. The two have now signed a new three year deal to continue the line. A womenswear collection by Bastian will launch in Gant stores and online in spring.

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