Home' INSTYLE Magazine : INSTYLE SPT-OCT 2017 Contents Iremember the infamous 'G' and as a child in the 90s I
was nearing the years where fashion started to mean
something more than just serving a purpose, it was about
a feeling, an emblematic quality or emotion. It first started
with a pair of very 90s sunglasses I remember my mum
wearing and then on came the 90s tees that looked more like a
country flag than a luxury label -- but they created awareness. It
was a big, bold, mysterious brand but one that was immediately
synonymous with luxury. At the time we didn't really know
what luxury was about and it certainly wasn't in the t-shirts that
began to go mainstream -- little did we know the brand would
become a fashion empire beyond the recognition of handbags and
accessories into a fully embellished his and hers designer label
that transcends seasons.
"We have changed Gucci in recent months, taking the kind of
risks you usually don't see in this industry with a brand," said CEO
and President of the brand, Marco Bizzarri in an interview with
the Financial Times.
Indeed, since taking the helm at Gucci --- which accounts for
the majority of (more than 60 per cent of parent company Kering's
operating profit) the company has posted consecutive increases
in sales growth and in June reporting quarterly sales to just over
1 billion euros in the second quarter of this year -- its highest rate
of organic sales growth in five years, beating market expectations
by 7 per cent. So that's enough with the numbers. But how do you
achieve growth like this?
is performance is particularly impressive against the
commonly slowing growth in the personal luxury goods market
--- which is expected to be flat this year --- and means that Gucci
is not just performing well against the wider market but also
taking market share from its competitors, one of its long-term
aims Bizzarri set out to achieve when he took over the declining
company's operations less than two years ago.
e same goes for hairdressing, the market isn't flat for
everyone. ose that are growing and those that are standing out
perhaps are taking a leaf out of Gucci's books. Be daring and be
different -- it's not something we haven't heard before. But how
do you turn creativity into dollars? e first step is to widen your
market and widen your appeal -- using creativity as your muse.
But Gucci's meteoric turnaround cannot be attributed to any
one factor, says Bizzarri, noting the combined effort of all of
the company's teams in implementing the new strategy he first
outlined in January 2015, aiming to build the 'buzz' of the brand's
new creative efforts into long-term brand desire and engagement,
reduce inventory levels and upgrade the consumer experience. Not
only does this prove a commitment beyond seasonal trends but
that a true turnaround takes time -- up to two years or for many
brands the complete development lifecycle of one product alone.
"We learn a lot from our wholesale partners because when you
are there you need to fight with other competitors, and learn how
to be better than them."
In order to spur such a revolution, Bizzarri's first step was to
appoint a new Creative Director. He chose Alessandro Michele,
a designer relatively unknown to the fashion world, but who
had worked behind the scenes at Gucci for 12 years, mostly
But at the end of the day, it all comes down to product ---
especially considering six out of seven of the company's best-selling
accessories were created by Michele --- including its Ace sneakers
and Princetown fur-lined leather shoes, as well as the GG Marmont
and Dionysus bags. Love them or hate them -- they worked and they
continued to blur the lines of sexuality in fashion.
Bizarri also told Wish magazine on a recent visit to Sydney that,
"My god I was really crazy. When I see what we did in the first six
months and how many changes we made that was totally crazy,"
"I put in danger and at total risk my career. I chose Alessandro
when I could have chosen the most talked-about designers in the
world that were more than happy to come to Gucci -- because well
Gucci is Gucci," he said.
Luxury is about reinvention and discovering new ways of evoking
emotion while reaching creative realms that both surprise and delight.
is is one foray Gucci has nailed - we take a looking at the new world
of the latest style steal, writes Cameron Pine.
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