The Italian Almanac
Italian News - January 13
Historic Italian gunmaker-turned-leisurewear house Beretta has planted its flag in the heart of London's elite tailors' district. The world's oldest firearms manufacturer, dating back to the early 16th century, has recently fashioned a lucrative sideline in clothes.
Beretta's new outlet on Jermyn Street is the third in Europe to spotlight its range of hunting and leisure couture and accessories, after similar flagship stores on the Champs Elysees and in Milan's fashion zone. London's Beretta Gallery, inaugurated this week, is divided into three sections: Hunting, Victory (all sports) and '1526', a leisure and lifestyle collection bearing the date of the firm's founding.
The gunmaking icon, which supplies many of the world's police forces as well as hunters across the globe, also has stores in New York, Dallas and Buenos Aires. The US and Italian police and army, France's gendarmes and Spain's Guardia Civil all use the celebrated Beretta 92 handgun. Beretta also supplies 75 percent of the 1,000 hunting rifles allowed into China each year.
Law enforcement and army contracts have added clout to Beretta's name but perhaps its most famous coup was fictional - in Ian Fleming's James Bond series, 007 starts using his license to kill with a .25 Beretta.