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Setting the Stakes for Gucci, Tom Ford and Burberry

A trio of big brands are relying on this week’s runway shows to chart a new course. That, plus what else to watch for in the coming days.
A trio of big brands are relying on this week’s runway shows to chart a new course.
A trio of big brands are relying on this week’s runway shows to chart a new course. (Getty Images)
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It’s a cliche to say the stakes are high for a runway show, and rarely accurate. A brand can turn critical acclaim or a viral look into sales. But it’s rare for that buzz to last beyond fashion week. And in the age of mega brands and TikTok there are plenty of other ways to sell clothes and bags, even if the initial reception was negative. That said, there are three shows this week that could have a very real impact on some of the industry’s biggest businesses:

Gucci

For Gucci, the stakes are in fact really, really high. The brand’s post-pandemic struggles are well documented, and it has effectively been in a holding pattern awaiting the unveiling of Sabato De Sarno’s vision. The particulars have been kept under wraps, aside from a teaser image featuring the model Daria Werbowy and some speculation of more overt nods to Gucci’s heritage to reengage high-net-worth customers who grew tired of Alessandro Michele’s maximalism. Parent company Kering has overhauled its biggest brand’s executive ranks, and no doubt plans to move fast to capitalise on whatever comes down the runway in a few days. All that remains to be seen is whether consumers are on board with the new Gucci. The market doesn’t need a fully formed, instantly commercial concept in Milan on Thursday, but it’s essential that the collection gets people excited about Gucci again. This could be one of the rare runway shows that moves share prices.

Stake-o-Meter: 🥩🥩🥩🥩🥩

Tom Ford

For Peter Hawkings at Tom Ford, Milan Fashion Week’s other big debut, the stakes are more run-of-the-mill. Estee Lauder paid $2.8 billion for the brand, but is mainly interested in its popular fragrances and makeup. The success of ready-to-wear can help sell Black Orchid, but it’s not essential. The show matters more for Zegna, which has the license for Tom Ford’s entire fashion business (its role was previously limited to menswear). Zegna released earnings last week but said little about its ambitions for the brand, other than that it plans to talk strategy around Tom Ford at its annual meeting in December. How Hawkings’ first collection is received could shape the company’s plans.

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Stake-o-Meter: 🥩🥩

Burberry

Daniel Lee stages his second runway for Burberry on Monday in London. His well-received first collection is hitting stores about now; in July, executives were upbeat, telling analysts that feedback, and orders, from wholesale accounts were meeting expectations. Big brands don’t need standout runways to stay top-of-mind with consumers. But Burberry is trying to raise its average price point, build up its leather goods business and generally prove it can compete in a market dominated by much bigger companies. A strong show on Monday will help with that.

Stake-o-Meter: 🥩🥩🥩

What Else to Watch for This Week

Sunday

London Fashion Week: Simone Rocha, Erdem, Knwls

Monday

London Fashion Week: Burberry, Supriya Lele

Climate Week kicks off in New York

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Stitch Fix reports fourth-quarter results

Tuesday

Eurozone releases August inflation data

Wednesday

Milan Fashion Week: Fendi, Roberto Cavalli, Etro, Diesel

“The Super Models,” a four-part docuseries on the heyday of Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington and Linda Evangelista, airs on Apple TV+

UK releases August inflation data

US Federal Reserve will decide whether to raise interest rates, after pausing at its last meeting

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Thursday

Milan Fashion Week: Max Mara, Prada, Mm6 Maison Margiela, Emporio Armani, Moschino, Tom Ford

Friday

Milan Fashion Week: Tod’s, Gucci, Versace, Boss

UK releases August retail sales data

Saturday

Milan Fashion Week: Ferrari, Ferragamo, Dolce & Gabbana, Jil Sander, Missoni, Bally, Bottega Veneta, Philipp Plein

The Asian Games begin in Hangzhou, China

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

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