"We don't expect 2016 to be brilliant, it will be similar to 2015," Semerari told WWD. "The first half will be difficult, but we will see signs of improvement in the second half. We are investing in the medium-term."
Unfazed by the calculus, he is focusing on the brand's long-term business strategy, which began last year with a "style and generational change" when it appointed former Emilio Pucci creative director Peter Dundas to replace the brand's eponymous founder - something he is equally plain-speaking about.
"There was the desire to underscore the change," he said of the appointment, which happened around the same time as his own arrival at the house. "It was an important message, aiming for a younger customer and more ready-to-wear for the day, but the response was varied. February's show was much better. We'll see what happens with the facts, but we believe that the message of a young woman, the rebalance of daywear and eveningwear has remained and we've strengthened the luxury component. We've received a positive response from press and clients alike."
He also outlined the ways the company intends to adapt to current consumer habits and move forward under new owner Clessidra SGR, which bought the fashion house (after lengthy negotiations) last year. It has already developed its wholesale channel in the US and relaunched its website and e-commerce with an omni-channel approach; intends to increase its presence in Asian markets - China, Japan, and Korea specifically - where it feels its competitors dominate; invest in "underdeveloped" categories such as menswear and accessories; and further explore the hospitality division of its Just Cavalli line.