SABMiller is looking to cement Peroni Nastro Azzurro's links to luxury and style by extending a partnership between the Italian lager brand and fashion designer Antonio Berardi.

A-list Italian fashion designer Berardi has joined forces with Peroni to produce a range of accessories, SABMiller said yesterday (9 February).

The UK-listed brewer said that the move reinforces Peroni's Italian heritage, as well as its positioning as a premium beer associated with style and luxury.

Berardi has already worked with the brand in Russia, where he created a fashion installation in Moscow last year.

"Peroni Nastro Azzurro's relationship with Antonio is long-term," said Chris Taylor, group international brands director at SABMiller. Peroni has also worked with Giorgio Locatelli in the culinary arts, as well as Francesca Versace and Alessi in design and Vogue Italia in fashion.

Global sales of Peroni continue to defy the financial crisis, according to SABMiller. It said global sales last year rose by 25% compared to the year before.

In the UK, where beer sales are at their lowest for 70 years and fell by 8% in the fourth quarter last year, Peroni volumes are up 20% year-on-year, an SABMiller spokesperson told just-drinks today (10 February).

Value sales are up 25%, he said, citing Nielsen figures.