LONDON, United Kingdom – Over the course of the last decade, Nicolaj and Ditte Reffstrup have built Ganni from a small Danish cashmere label into a cult favourite with a knack for churning out viral designs.
But the couple’s ambitions run deeper. From the moment they acquired Ganni in 2009, they set themselves the goal of building a global business, aiming for longevity and reach beyond their home market — something few brands ever achieve, let alone those based in niche markets outside established fashion capitals.
In the last two years they’ve hit major milestones, bringing on LVMH-linked private equity firm L Catterton as a majority shareholder in 2017, and hiring a new and experienced chief executive. Now, Ganni is poised for global expansion, launching stores in the UK and the US in 2019.
Underpinning the company’s rise is a unique mix of culture, creativity and tech-savvy. A former buyer, Ditte’s design aesthetic is highly commercial. Meanwhile, Nicolaj’s background as a tech entrepreneur lent the company a fast-moving mentality alien to many fashion brands. For the last three years, Ganni’s revenue grew at an average of 50 percent a year. Turnover is expected to surpass €70 million ($76.9 million) in 2019.
As the brand prepares to launch its first stores in the US, The Business of Fashion examines how Ganni went global, and what it will need to do to maintain and solidify its market position.
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