by John Russel Jones

AQA Holding (AQA) will acquire luxury menswear brand CKC New York (Christopher Korey Collective), based in New York City. The transformational deal will establish AQA (owner of Stefano Bemer and Sartoria Vestrucci, and part of the group that controls RforPeople, Scuola del Cuoio and Schola Academy) as a global leader in the luxury men’s apparel and accessories industry. The company will act as the sole owner of the CKC New York brand and all its intellectual property. All brands will be merged and operate under the Stefano Bemer label with global expansion plans to begin in Q2 2023.

Korey modeling some of his wares.

Under the agreement, Christopher Korey, Co-Founder and Creative Director of CKC New York, will continue to serve as the brand’s creative visionary. Calegero Cristiano, Co-Founder and head of tailoring at CKC New York will stay on in that role as well as managing all New York operations.

CKC, West 56th Street NYC Design: Robert Passal

“I could not be more thrilled, humbled and honored to announce the acquisition of CKC New York by the legendary Italian brand Stefano Bemer,” says Korey. “This merger will allow us to ramp up the vision we have at CKC New York, and not only its expansion plans but also enable the brand to enhance the offerings of items in both ready to wear and made to order creations alongside, needless to say, with the most revered men’s shoes on the market. In a fast paced, digital world such as the one we find ourselves in today, it was an honor to be recognized by such an esteemed brand as Stefano Bemer. As a company they embrace everything we at CKC New York admire and respect: commitment to quality and craftsmanship to the highest degree. I look forward to contributing to making timeless modern and modern timeless with new creations that offer something fresh in the marketplace while maintaining the utmost attention to quality.”

CKC, West 56th Street NYC Design: Robert Passal

Tommaso Melani, CEO of Stefano Bemer, says: “I’m extremely proud to officially announce the completion of a major step in the development of Stefano Bemer’s business strategy, the acquisition of CKC New York. I believe that there is strength in acknowledging the talent in others and there is power in the humble admission that there is always room for improvement. While building the strategy for the development of the tailoring and clothing arm of our company, I had the clear perception that I needed to think outside of the proverbial box. Bringing closer the pure Florentine heritage of Sartoria Vestrucci and the contemporary stylistic ideas of CKC gives Stefano Bemer the best of both worlds!

“Over the past few months, I have found myself realizing how on many levels, Stefano Bemer and CKC share a similar and compatible vision over the future of men’s style and how organic the alignment of our prospectives could have been, especially now that Sartoria Vestrucci is merging into Stefano Bemer to become its clothing division. We, therefore, gave the acquisition and merger of CKC the highest priority in our 2023 agenda because it allows Stefano Bemer to leap forward in the consolidation of its strategy and to expand its foothold in New York while, at the same time, generating additional assets and resources to deploy in the upcoming strategic developments…and now it’s done!

CKC, West 56th Street NYC Design: Robert Passal

I’ve long admired the work ethics, commitment, and passion that the people at CKC have demonstrated since the very beginning and I always thought that those are the kind of partners you would want by your side when you venture into the future.”
The combined company headquarters and flagship retail location is in Florence, Italy, while retail locations will remain in place in New York. The company expects to expand retail locations globally but a timeframe was not given at press time. The acquisition will close at the end of January. No further details were immediately available.

CKC, West 56th Street NYC Design: Robert Passal


  1. The picture in the background of Archie Leach, the actor who played me in NxNW is a nice touch.

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