BUSINESS OF FASHION: GUCCI’S POWER COUPLE TAKES A FINAL BOW
Italian fashion house Gucci is searching for new blood as its two top executives resign after a 1.9 percent decline in third quarter revenue. Gucci’s parent company Kering SA said that CEO Patrizio di Marco and Creative Director Frida Giannini – fashion’s most illustrious husband-and-wife duo – will quit the brand after the New Year. Marco Bizzarri, current head of Gucci’s luxury couture and leather goods division, will assume control of the business on Jan. 1.
Gucci has suffered brand degradation in recent years, and last quarter’s profit drop illustrates consumers’ shift to labels perceived as more exclusive. Giannini’s tenure at Gucci never quite matched the dynamism and ingenuity of its legendary savior Tom Ford in the early 2000s, according to The New York Times.
Di Marco joined Gucci in 2009 from Bottega Veneta, attempting to elevate the label by minimizing the iconic double G logo and reintroducing classic luxury styles. Still, other factors encroached upon the brand’s success.
“Over the last five-seven years, there has been a great change in the world of luxury in terms of scale and growth, and we are facing the question of how to maintain exclusivity while continuing to grow,” said François-Henri Pinault, chief of Kering.
Gucci lost about $3.1 billion in sales over the first nine months of 2014, a loss attributable to younger shoppers’ preference for quality and elevated design over better-known luxury brands. Decelerated economic growth in Asia is also a factor, while Russia’s super-rich have abstained from luxury consumption due to Western sanctions against the government.
But Gucci isn’t the only brand undergoing a mixup.
“Kering has been overhauling management of its luxury brands. In October, the Paris-based company named new CEOs at Bottega Veneta, Brioni and Christopher Kane,” reports Andrew Roberts at Business of Fashion.
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