Chervò is a prestigious Italian brand of golf and apres-ski sportswear for men and women that has been creating upscale apparel for the past 38 years. It is designed for active, affluent, sports-minded people who love to express their individuality by wearing innovative, high-quality fashion and accessories. Chervo’s collections are classic in nature yet chic, trendy, and cult following worthy.
The history of Chervo dates back to 1982 in a small mountain village in the very heart of the Dolomites. It was founded by the two brothers, Peter Erlacher, who has the talent for designing, and Manfred Erlacher, who brings the business/operational side to the equation.
The brand is very well-known and coveted in Europe and Asia, and in 2016, Chervo set up its USA headquarters in Florida with an eye on further expansion. Our Style Editor Janice Ferguson spoke with Layne Dempsey, the managing partner in charge of the western hub, about the Fall/Winter20 collection that was just released in early October.
JF: First off, what does Chervo mean?
LD: Well, I wish there was a fancier story behind the name, but Cervo means deer in Italian. The Erlacher brothers wanted to put a bit more of a glamorous spin on the word and decided to spell it with the ‘h’ – Chervo. It’s about the grace and elegance of a deer – if you look at the logo, the accent above the ‘r’ is actually the shape of a deer antler. Chervo was born in the mountains but made for the city.
JF: How has this year of existing with COVID affected the business?
LD: We faced our biggest amount of canceled orders with spring/summer merchandise because it was literally scheduled to arrive to our accounts in March when the shutdown started and people were scared. Knock on wood, we’ve been able to hold on to 95% of our fall/winter pre-book orders and they’ve started to ship and deliver so we’re feeling like things are getting back on track.
The other benefit for Chervo is we have three collections a year and they are all cut to order which means we take our pre-booked orders from wholesale customers globally, put it all together and see how much product to manufacture plus a little more. That’s why when items are sold out, they’re gone. We don’t take on a huge inventory risk and that’s been a blessing this year.
JF: Let’s talk about the fall/winter20 collection – the illustrations look very cool and are grouped in Chic & Tech, Let It Play, Urban Game, and The Forest. Which has been the front runner in sales?
LD: Let It Play has been received the best because of the Wisteria hue being such a pastel looking color that we’re not used to seeing in winter. Also, one of the cool things with Chervo’s color stories is that while most everyone else hits the same color houses to get the color palettes for the season, we design all of our own patterns and prints in-house. We don’t buy them so you won’t see anyone else with that same print unless someone remakes our print.
JF: The Look Book also serves as a merchandising tool?
LD: Yes. We use the illustrative or rendering format to show how the pieces can go together so it’s a helpful visual tool when laying things out for stores and pro shops. We may offer a piece in more colors, but we show it in the best two colors that we recommend based on what we think is going to be an attractive grouping that will resonate and turn into a sale.
JF: What are some of the fabric technologies in this collection?
LD: All of our technology for winter is based on our ProTherm technology which is to keep you warm, so you’ll find it in the outerwear as well as in the tops and bottoms. It’s the foundation layer of fall/winter, and then you start to wrap in on top of ProTherm more specific technologies like Happy Goose which is our eco-conscious down-free fill that we’ve been using for 10 years. Also the Aqua Drop and Aqua Block – water-resistant and waterproof – are used in this season’s selections.
JF: How do you describe the Chervo look?
LD: Chervo designs are always very classic – you won’t find anything big and bold on our clothes. They’re just very classically conceived with superior quality so they have longevity from season to season.
JF: Difficult to name one, but what is your favorite piece from this collection?
LD: Chervo is predominantly known in Europe as a women’s line – about 85% of our wholesale business is women’s. But our DTC business is 60% men’s. It’s an interesting dichotomy which is exciting because it tells us we’ve caught some of that demographic’s attention in the US. That said, I really like the Mondello men’s jacket from the Chic & Tech group. It’s being highlighted in GQ’s Men of the Year holiday gift guide issue this year.
For more information go to www.chervousa.com.