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Agenda-setting intelligence, analysis and advice for the global fashion community.

A Twist on the Destination Fashion Show

This week, everyone will be talking about Camille Miceli’s first collection for Pucci and China’s lockdowns.
Pucci archives at Palazzo Pucci.
Pucci archives at Palazzo Pucci. (Simon Upton)

Pucci Goes On Vacation

  • Former Louis Vuitton accessories director Camille Miceli’s first collection for Pucci will be shown on April 29 in Capri
  • The show is being held in partnership with Mytheresa and the collection will be available to buy immediately
  • Pucci is doubling down on resort wear and travel after other revival attempts failed to take hold in recent years

After several attempts at radical transformation, Pucci is going back to its roots: bold patterns for jetsetters. But though the aesthetic may look familiar, owner LVMH is taking an innovative approach to how it markets and sells the brand, starting with Friday’s show in Capri. Newly appointed creative director Camille Miceli is partnering with Mytheresa on the collection, which will be shoppable after the show and followed by monthly drops.

The decision to debut a new vision for a smaller brand outside of fashion week is an unusual one, as is the move to see-now-buy-now. But the timing makes sense in the context of Miceli’s and LVMH’s vision for Pucci, which will lean on its signature colourful prints to sell summer dresses, sandals and other beachy items to customers in resort hotspots from Miami to Saint-Tropez. Wild prints are a crucial part of the post-pandemic wardrobe, and airlines are predicting a massive wave of vacationers this summer. The monthly drops are meant to convince as many of those travellers as possible they need a fringed Pucci caftan on their first beach vacation since 2019. The clock is ticking.

The Bottom Line: Despite its history, Pucci has struggled to hold consumers’ attention in recent years, relying on collaborations with Supreme and other brands to drive sales. Miceli, who Vogue recently described as “one of the most influential creatives in fashion you’ve never heard of,” is expected to bring some much-needed merchandising wizardry to the brand.

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China’s Lockdowns Stretch On

  • China is requiring hundreds of millions of its citizens to remain in their homes
  • Some of the strictest lockdowns are in Shanghai, the biggest Chinese market for many luxury brands
  • Chinese retail sales fell 3.5 percent in March compared with a year earlier as many consumers were confined to their homes

Last week, executives at some of the world’s biggest luxury brands waved off concerns that China’s zero-Covid policy posed a long-term threat to their businesses. Surely, they argued, once consumers were allowed to leave their homes, they would make up for any temporary pause in their shopping habits. Those executives are probably right. But as Shanghai’s lockdown stretches into its fifth week, it’s starting to strain the definition of temporary. Part of the problem is a lack of clear guidance on what conditions need to be met in order for the lockdowns to lift. Infectious disease experts have also expressed a lack of confidence in data provided by the Chinese government from the earliest days of the pandemic, particularly low death totals. The lockdowns are also much more severe than in the past; as Bernstein’s Luca Solca notes, even e-commerce, which made up for lost in-store sales last summer, is being disrupted as warehouses around Shanghai remain closed.

The Bottom Line: Prada and Kering are among the companies that have said their American businesses have offset the dip in Chinese spending. The longer the lockdowns drag on, the better the investment in US stores and marketing looks.

The Week Ahead wants to hear from you! Send tips, suggestions, complaints and compliments to brian.baskin@businessoffashion.com.

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