Polo profits drop, Chinese luxury grows, Shoppers seek the unique, BFC joins trade organisation, Gucci trademark

Ralph Lauren

Polo Ralph Lauren sales and profits fall (Drapers) “Polo Ralph Lauren has notched up first quarter sales of $1bn (£588.6m), an 8 percent fall on the same period last year.” Luxury Brands Gain Momentum in China Despite the Slowdown (Seeking Alpha) “Even as luxury goods consumption has fallen worldwide, China’s appetite for high-end retail has shown a strong momentum.” Shoppers see a value in unique

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Rodarte’s Target, Cavalli-Clessidra deal collapses, Gucci’s Pop-Up, Adidas profit plunges, Naomi Sims


Rodarte’s Target (Vogue) “Rodarte will join the ranks of Erin Fetherston, Jovovich-Hawk, Rogan and Jonathan Saunders (among others), as the latest designers to collaborate with American retailer Target as part of its Go International series.” Clessidra Pulls Out Of Deal With Cavalli (WSJ) “Italian private equity fund Clessidra SGR SpA has pulled out of a deal with fashion house Roberto Cavalli after

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Friday Column | Japanese Luxury Fatigue

Prada flagship store in Omotesando, Tokyo

LONDON, United Kingdom — The scariest news I have recently read about luxury was in Tuesday’s Financial Times. The Japanese, it seems, have stopped buying luxury goods. Luxury imports in Japan were down 10 percent and sales of LVMH in the country were down 18 percent in the first quarter. And no, it’s not just the recession. “This is not a blip. This is a long-term shift in the market,” Brian Salsberg, the

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Gucci’s CEO charts new direction, Barneys still CEO-less, Small luxury takes a hit, Samsonite’s lifeline

New Gucci store concept, courtesy of Gucci

Gucci Renews GG-Logo Purses Priced Below $3,000 Under New Chief (Bloomberg) As reported late last year on BoF, “Gucci’s new chief executive officer, Patrizio di Marco, said he’s fighting the recession by cutting production, making fewer styles to reduce costs, and bulking up the luxury label’s mid-priced range.” Lengthy Search for New CEO Dogs Barneys (WSJ) “Barneys has spent more than a year

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Future of Luxury, PPR declines, Sustainable retail, Mizrahi’s Liz launches, Coach profits drop


The Future of Luxury in a Recession (Atelier) As companies like Coach, Gucci Group and LVMH report their results this week, this video from Atelier, a division of Leo Burnett, highlights some of the cataclysmic changes in consumer behaviour that will drive the luxury of the future. What do you think of their assertions? PPR Says Luxury Sales Remain ‘Sluggish’ (WSJ) “Mass retail and fashion group PPR SA posted a

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Gucci’s Q1, Project Runway moves, Lundgren’s rich compensation, Hermès sets up on the beach

Gucci S/S 09 Ad campaign, courtesy of Gucci

Gucci CEO sees satisfactory Q1-report (Reuters) “Fashion house Gucci has had a satisfactory trend in the first quarter.” ‘Project Runway’ Will Move to Lifetime (WSJ) “Nearly a year of litigation between General Electric Co.’s NBC Universal and Weinstein Co. over “Project Runway” ended Wednesday with an agreement that allows Weinstein to move its popular reality-TV show to Lifetime

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Murjani divests Gucci, Luxury succumbs to cycle, Choo’s schools, New home for NYFW, Macy’s cuts staff

Gucci spring / summer '09

Murjani to divest Gucci stores in India (Economic Times) In an effort to recoup investments he’s made in the luxury sector, Mohan Murjani plans to divest the operations of Gucci in India. Luxury goods succumb to the cycle (FT) Despite some views to the contrary, the luxury industry is proving to be prone to cyclical ups and downs. Malaysian shoe guru Jimmy Choo plans teaching academies (Yahoo) “Malaysian-born luxury

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Luxury Outlook | Gucci cuts back production capacity

MILAN, Italy - Take a walk into a Gucci store these days and one cannot help but notice the preponderance of logos and icons on almost every Gucci product in sight, especially the brand's leather goods, shoes and accessories. Horsebits, double G's, and Gucci crests abound. But, it seems the conspicuous logos are failing to resonate with consumers in these recessionary times. Rumours are circulating in Italy that Gucci has dramatically cut production orders to make up for waning demand for the Italian luxury brand's core leather goods offering. If the reports are accurate, it speaks volumes about the worsening climate for luxury goods players in general, but particularly for brands like Gucci which have chosen to follow an explicit…

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Breaking News | Gucci sales growth disappoints

News flashes have been coming in today from investment analysts covering PPR, which reported its 1Q08 results earlier today. The news is not good for the Gucci brand, but Bottega Veneta has managed to beat market expectations, even in this downbeat economic environment. Gucci sales only increased by 2.4% to €513m, versus market expectations in the neighbourhood of 7% growth. As a result, some analysts are considering posting downgrades to their ratings on the PPR stock. Given it's self-stated positioning as an 'Aspirational luxury' brand, it may not seem surprising that Gucci would be one of the first brands to show signs of the economic slowdown. But that's not the whole story. Interestingly, the slowdown in sales growth is not…

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Stella McCartney | Taking Asia by storm

Bolstered by a string of well-received collections in recent seasons, positive feedback from the sales floor, and her newly profitable status, Stella McCartney is setting her sights on Asia.  In 2007, the brand signed an exclusive distribution deal with the Lane Crawford Joyce Group to open 10 freestanding stores in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia by 2012. And yesterday, McCartney announced a partnership with TSG International Marketing Pvt to open 6 stores across India, including two stores by the end of this year. Boy have things changed for the upstart brands in Gucci's portfolio. After years of operating in the red, there was much hoopla in 2007 when Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen finally broke-even,…

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Milan Fashion Week | Commerce and creativity

While London is often the spark of new ideas and New York is confidently commercial, the Milan shows usually sit somewhere in between. They may not be the pushing the limits of fashion in terms of new ideas, but they specialise in striking the right balance between commerce and creativity. Many buyers and editors complained of an uncharacteristically inconsistent offering from Milan's usually focused designers last week. But we think there was a lot to be impressed by in Milan, especially from the some of the heavyweight brands who show there. Take Burberry, for example. Christopher Bailey is on a clear winning streak, softening his approach this season with the perfect autumnal mood for the urban birds who walked down…

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New York Fashion Week | Gucci’s finishing touches

On the corner of 57th and 5th in New York, in the Trump Tower space that used to house the failed Asprey flagship, the scaffolding and covering have been removed from the new 46,000 square foot Gucci flagship.  The shelves have been stocked and the windows are already proclaiming Gucci's love for New York, in hopes that New York will love Gucci back - to the tune of an estimated $100m a year. As we walked by the location of the brand new flagship store yesterday afternoon, an army of workmen was putting the finishing touches on what will be one of the largest luxury stores on 5th Avenue and is expected to rake in as much cash as the…

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Robert Polet | Gucci’s (real) rock star

Maybe it is the emerging importance of Russian customers that convinced Frida Giannini she should look to Russian rockers to inspire her latest menswear collection for Gucci. Regardless of the source of her inspiration, it would be fair to say that the collection went down with an audible thud. Suzy Menkes of the IHT, Horacio Silva of The Moment, and Tim Blanks of Style.com seemed to be grasping for positive things to say about it. Guy Trebay of the New York Times went even further: There are days in the life of a fashion observer when having a nail driven into one’s skull seems preferable to sitting through another evocation of the so-called rock ’n’ roll style....it seems willfully dated…

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