The debriefing |  Gucci's New Setup

The debriefing | Gucci’s New Setup

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In the late 2010s, Gucci pulled off a successful turnaround by aligning creative director Alessandro Michele’s unique baroque aesthetic and Jacopo Venturini’s expert merchandising under chief executive Marco Bizzarri, according to luxury analyst Luca Solca Bernstein and BoF contributor. They injected the brand’s heritage and tradition with streetwear and cool codes – bringing more casual products like sneakers into the luxury fold, and sparking the era of “new luxury,” Solca said.

Lately, the brand has started to see its momentum slow, falling behind rivals in organic growth. Looking for a boost, Gucci revamped itself, introducing two newly minted roles to support creative director Alessandro Michele.

“It’s incumbent on Gucci to keep promoting novelty so consumers can turn their heads and say, ‘Wow, that’s something I don’t have. I want to buy it,'” Solca said.

  • One of Creative Director Alessandro Michele’s longtime deputies will develop the brand’s commercial collections in the newly created role of Design Studio Director. Maria Cristina Lomanto will oversee merchandising and brand elevation as Executive Vice President, General Manager of Brand.
  • The changes are a signal of Gucci’s intention to attract more consumers, while pursuing a creative spark. Its biggest challenge right now, according to Solca, is for Gucci to “propel novelty” to drive consumer demand.
  • Gucci is also trying to move upmarket even further, a huge challenge as it requires dynamism and scale. But Gucci is relatively well placed to do the significant amount of marketing and investment required to elevate a brand, given the now over €10 billion annual sales it generates.
  • Michele has been artistic director of Gucci for seven years; a long tenure by today’s standards. Relying more on a wider team could help mitigate the risks associated with a possible creative transition for Gucci, which is targeting annual sales of 15 billion euros.
  • Will Gucci’s new creative setup work? The Italian mega-brand compartmentalized its creative department and recruited Maria Cristina Lomanto to oversee merchandising. Is this enough to rekindle consumer interest? Luca Solca does the analysis.
  • How big can luxury brands get? Kering aims to grow Gucci to 15 billion euros in annual revenue, well beyond what conventional wisdom once thought possible.

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