Gucci has said goodbye to its fashion power duo, President & CEO Patrizio di Marco and Gucci Creative Director Frida Giannini.
The move comes after Gucci witnessed sales fall 1.9% between July and September. The decline follows a 2.4% sales drop from the previous quarter, leaving the Italian fashion house in a detrimental position.
Gucci makes up half the revenues for the Kering group, led by France’s Pinault family. Such a loss does not come as good news for the company or its decision makers, as it results in a loss of £673m in the last quarter alone.
Figures have been linked to luxury consumers now wanting to move away from statement pieces. Instead they are opting for subtlety, with brands such as Victoria Beckham and even high street stores such as H&M seeing outstanding profits.
Where Gucci has favoured stand out luxury, Victoria Beckham has opted for simplicity in her Dover Street store. Even the shops layout oozes a chic minimalism, as Victoria stated, “I didn’t want a traditional shop window, just a plain window, and a huge concrete sliding door”. This has clearly been a success as the clothing store goes from strength to strength, with a long list of ‘A list’ celebrities now sporting the brand.
H&M, though a high street store, also represents how simple fashion is leading the way. The company saw an increase of 10% in sales in November and will release a full yearly report January 28th. The store has had a string of famous models increasing the brands popularity with Olivia Wilde being the latest addition to the H&M family, following Naomi Campbell, Eva Herzigova and the Jaggers. Sales have also been boosted with luxury collaborations with Jimmy Choo, Karl Lagerfield, Sonia Rikyel & Lanvin and Stella McCartney, brands that are all in keeping with H&M’s effortless style.
New director Mr Bizzari will start work in January, with hopes to turn the brand around. Up until now he has worked as CEO for Kering’s Luxury Couture & Leather Goods, and he is the former head of Bottega Veneta. Kering are confident that Mr Bizarri will be an asset to Gucci, as he has already successfully increased profits for Bottega Veneta, where he worked from 2005.
Patrizio di Marco and Frida Giannini’s decision to leave comes after a decade working for the company. Also a couple out of work, with a 16month old daughter, the duo confirmed they were leaving Friday 12th. Mr Luca Solca, a luxury expert at BNP Paribas saw this as a natural progression, stating, “Gucci is one the most prominent luxury mega-brands. It will benefit from new ideas and fresh energy”.
It won’t be the first time that the brand has come under financial crisis. The company that was set up by Guccio Gucci in 1921 lost just under £14m in 1993.However, with Tom Ford’s influence profits soon rose to £2.5bn, with 1999 seeing a financial milestone as the company was valued at around $4bill.
Di Marco and Gianni were left with high expectations and worked hard over their time with Gucci, to follow on in Tom Ford’s footsteps. However, with changing consumer needs a fresh outlook is needed for the brand to truly thrive. Gucci is embracing the change, with high hopes for Bizzari. Luca Solca went on to add, “This was a change that was for a long time in the making. Di Marco and Giannini have presided over Gucci for a whole era, taking it to new heights”. He stressed that it is natural for managers to leave and that the importance should lie with the brand remaining.