Alessandro Michele

Gucci Confirms Alessandro Michele Exit

Gucci Confirms Alessandro Michele Exit

MILAN – Gucci and parent company Kering on Wednesday evening said Alessandro Michele would be exiting the brand, relinquishing his role as creative director. This confirms a WWD report from Tuesday.
“I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet Alessandro at the end of 2014, since then we have had the pleasure to work closely together as Gucci has charted its successful path over these last eight years,” said Gucci president and CEO Marco Bizzarri in a statement. “I would like to thank him for his 20 years of commitment to Gucci and for his vision, devotion and unconditional love for this unique house during his tenure as creative director.”

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François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of Kering, said: “The road that Gucci and Alessandro walked together over the past years is unique and will remain as an outstanding moment in the history of the House. I am grateful to Alessandro for bringing so much of himself in this adventure. His passion, his imagination, his ingenuity and his culture put Gucci center stage, where its place is. I wish him a great next chapter in his creative journey.”

Michele, who was appointed to the top creative role in January 2015, said, “there are times when paths part ways because of the different perspectives each one of us may have. Today an extraordinary journey ends for me, lasting more than 20 years, within a company to which I have tirelessly dedicated all my love and creative passion. During this long period, Gucci has been my home, my adopted family. To this extended family, to all the individuals who have looked after and supported it, I send my most sincere thanks, my biggest and most heartfelt embrace. Together with them I have wished, dreamed, imagined. Without them, none of what I have built would have been possible. To them goes my most sincerest wish: may you continue to cultivate your dreams, the subtle and intangible matter that makes life worth living. May you continue to nourish yourselves with poetic and inclusive imagery, remaining faithful to your values. May you always live by your passions, propelled by the wind of freedom.”Now the question remains on who could be succeeding Michele, who engineered the brand’s turnaround with his unique style. Gucci, in the statement issued late Wednesday evening, said the company’s design office “will continue to carry the direction of the house forward until a new creative organization will be announced.”

One source wondered if Remo Macco, a Gucci veteran who was recently appointed studio design director, could be in the wings. He has been tasked with offering more commercial products to balance Michele’s aesthetics.

“There has been an increasingly strong divide between the show team and the merchandising and commercial studio,” said the source, adding that Macco has acted as “a filter between all the directors of the different categories and Michele,” as Gucci has increased the number of capsule collections and special editions.

Another potential candidate could be Davide Renne, also a Gucci veteran.

Another sign of a sharper focus on boosting the top line and a change of direction may be seen in the appointment last spring of former Roger Vivier brand manager Maria Cristina Lomanto. She was named  executive vice president, brand general manager, a new role for the Italian luxury company. Lomanto was tasked with focusing on coordinating collection and retail merchandising, visual merchandising, beauty and eyewear licensing and retail training, reporting to Bizzarri.

Zoning in on historic codes, iconic handbags and craftsmanship was also touted by Pinault, amplified and added to the mix for a “blend of heritage and innovation,” as the executive commented on the group’s third-quarter performance.

In 2021, Gucci revenues tallied 9.73 billion euros, just shy of its oft-stated goal of 10 billion euros.

An internal promotion path is not new at parent company Kering, and it’s not the first time Pinault has shaken up one of Kering’s key brands. Michele himself, handpicked by Bizzarri, was promoted from his role of “associate” to then-creative director Frida Giannini, in January 2015. He had joined the Gucci design studio in 2002 following a stint as senior accessories designer at Fendi. Giannini brought him to Gucci and he was named her “associate” in 2011. In 2014 he took on the additional responsibility of creative director of Richard Ginori, the porcelain brand acquired by Gucci in 2013.

Last November, in a surprise move, Pinault ousted Daniel Lee from Bottega Veneta, despite the designer’s strong performance at the brand and much critical success. Lee, who is now creative director at Burberry, was succeeded at Bottega Veneta by Matthieu Blazy, previously the brand’s ready to wear design director.

Blazy in two seasons has rapidly put his mark on the brand, taking it back to its artisanal roots.

As reported, sources say that Michele was asked “to initiate a strong design shift” to light the fire under Gucci, but this request was apparently not met by the designer, whose quirky aesthetic is very specific. Michele has helped boost Gucci’s influence in fashion, and his gender-fluid and romantic spirit has left its mark on a slew of other designers, catering to a younger and more diverse customer, but, according to one source, “Pinault has been trying to recover the uber luxury consumer.”

Michele has reinvented Gucci with a completely new androgynous style that toppled Giannini’s sophisticated jet-set lifestyle image. Giannini’s tenure as creative director at the brand lasted 10 years, while her predecessor Tom Ford engineered the first Gucci turnaround and stayed on for almost eight years.

It is unclear what the future holds for Michele, who has expressed his passion for cinematography – much like Ford – but one source speculated the designer “could be receiving a phone call from Pinault’s arch rival Bernard Arnault any time soon.”

On Wednesday morning, commenting on the potential change at Gucci, Luca Solca, senior research analyst global luxury goods at Bernstein, said this was “very good news” and that, “in order to reaccelerate, Gucci doesn’t need to move to the mainstream or to become timeless. It needs to open a new creative chapter. This, in all likelihood, can be only done with new creative energy and talent.” Without mincing words, he noted, “the sooner Alessandro goes, the better.”

Solca’s opinion is that “Gucci is suffering from brand fatigue” as Michele “has been doing more of the same for seven years. Consumers who bought a lot early (the Chinese) got bored first. This is not surprising.” He credited Kering for its ability to reinvent its brands time and again, and concluded that Gucci “has enough scale to be able to make itself heard, the moment it has something new to say, that is.” He also noted that Kering is trading at a discount to peers due to the slowdown at Gucci.

On the other hand, Jefferies equity analyst Flavio Cereda wrote last month that he did “not share the view that Gucci, as a very cyclical brand, is broken in its current guise and needs a total reset to reverse trends: we believe brand equity is very strong, as are capabilities (on- and off-line), supply chain and track record.”

The news come ahead of Gucci’s return to Milan’s Men’s Fashion Week in January.

Kering last month, reported that its cash cow brand continued to underperform versus the group’s other brands, although organic sales picked up pace in the third quarter. Revenues at the Italian label totaled 2.6 billion euros, up 9 percent on a like-for-like basis, following a 4 percent rise in the second quarter.

That was slightly below a consensus of analyst estimates, which called for a 10 percent increase in comparable sales at the maker of Dionysus handbags and horsebit loafers. By comparison, organic sales at LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton’s key fashion and leather goods division rose 22 percent year-over-year in the third quarter.

Browns Reveals Exclusive Gucci Cosmogonie Edit With Installation on Brook Street Flagship

Browns Reveals Exclusive Gucci Cosmogonie Edit With Installation on Brook Street Flagship

While speculation about Alessandro Michele exiting Gucci, first reported by WWD, will for sure be a buzzy topic during Thanksgiving dinners for fashion lovers, some retailers are confident in the brand’s current maximalist aesthetic.

British fashion retailer Browns on Thursday will unveil its 27-piece exclusive edit on both menswear and womenswear from the Gucci resort 2023 Cosmogonie collection with an immersive installation in pop-up space The Focus Room, which is located on the ground floor of its flagship store on Brook Street in London.

The installation takes cues from the connections between the stars that make up constellations that inspired the collection that was presented at the site of the 13th-century Castel del Monte in Apulia, Italy.

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Ida Petersson, buying director at Browns, said Gucci is one of the retailer’s oldest legacy brands, and they are “big fans of Michele’s universe.”

“He is a storyteller like no other, dreaming up not just collections but worlds, which makes the brand a perfect collaborator for the immersive experience taking place in The Focus Room. Celebrating our partnership with this rare opportunity to offer customers a unique and comprehensive edit created just for Browns, we are so excited to welcome Gucci back, this time in our new forever home on Brook Street,” she added.

Highlights in the edit for women include a monogrammed wool lamé cape jacket, a deep green crushed velvet oversize ensemble, an oversize reversible faux fur bomber jacket, a greige tiered tulle top and an arctic blue leather dress with lace detailing. The men’s offering comes with a velvet suiting reimagined in dark nude, knitted crew necks, printed silk bowling shirt and shorts sets.

The popular bag styles of Gucci Diana and Jackie 1961 will also be available at Browns for the first time together with the edit launch.

The North Face x Gucci Plans Pop-up Shops

The North Face x Gucci Plans Pop-up Shops

THE COLD SHOULDER: For the second installment of its partnership and collaborative collection with The North Face, Gucci is playing up exploration and avant-garde design in a new campaign.That sense of adventure and readiness for any and all weather elements have been pictured in a new campaign that debuts today. Gucci’s creative director, Alessandro Michele, masterminded the campaign that has been photographed and directed by twins Jalan and Jibril Durimel. Christopher Simmons served as the art director, with Thomas De Kluyver handling makeup and Andrea Martinelli in charge of hairstyling.

A look from The North Face x Gucci campaign shot in Iceland.
Jalan and Jibril Durimel/Courtesy of Gucci

The photos and video were shot in Iceland, a country known for its majestic nature. There, models were pictured on various terrains including snow white-covered backdrops, volcanic black sand and more pastural green hills. The Durimels’ imagery is being used for all marketing channels including social media, online and e-commerce. The big-name brands are keeping their outdoorsy photography going — the first campaign was shot by Daniel Shea in the Alps.

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The latest assortment from The North Face x Gucci features insulated jackets, ready-to-wear, backpacks, bomber jackets, vests, hiking boots, luggage and shoes for women and men. Select styles feature the classic GG monogram all over, and there are fresh takes on some of The North Face’s signature looks from the ’90s, which have been reimagined in colorful prints inspired by the Gucci archives.
Next month shoppers in select winter cities will find the collection, which is designed to withstand the elements, in pop-up shops. From Jan. 11 through Jan. 25, there will be outposts in Aspen, Chicago and Toronto. Aspen is a popular destination this season. Gabriela Hearst has unveiled a pop-up in the ski resort town, where the new AspenX label, Citizens of Humanity and Loro Piana Interiors have boutiques.
As a nod to both brands’ environmental efforts, the new line uses Econyl, a trademarked nylon fabric made from regenerated materials like fishing nets. In addition, all of the down insulation that is used in the second go-round meets certification for the Responsible Down Standard by Control Union.
Shoppers won’t miss the vibrant pink packaging for the line, featuring The North Face x Gucci logo. All of the paper and cardboard that is used comes from from sustained managed forest sources. An uncoated paper was used to make it fully recyclable. Another indicator of the eco-minded approach is the fact that boxes are designed with handles to avoid the need for shopping bags.
There is no word yet when the last season is slated for and whether an extension of the collaboration is being considered.

Everything You Need to Know About Vogue’s Forces of Fashion This Year

Everything You Need to Know About Vogue’s Forces of Fashion This Year

This year, Vogue’s Forces of Fashion event will be a virtual affair, held on July 7 and 8. Titled “Fashion Goes Forward,” the event will feature many notable speakers and panel discussions that you won’t want to miss. (So make sure to book those tickets early!)
Over the course of two days, a number of the fashion industry’s leading designers and icons will sit down for thought-provoking conversations. Highlights include a special panel discussion with Vogue’s Anna Wintour, British Vogue’s Edward Enninful, Vogue China’s Margaret Zhang, and Vogue Runway’s Luke Leitch, who will all offer an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at what goes into making Vogue’s global titles.
Award-winning musician Billie Eilish and Gucci visionary creative director Alessandro Michele will also be in conversation with Vogue’s Chioma Nnadi to discuss how they’ve shaped their respective industries. Designers such as Marc Jacobs, Balenciaga’s Demna Gvasalia, Maison Margiela’s John Galliano, and Chloé’s Gabriela Hearst will all speak as well. Topics in the panels will range from what it takes to build a brand with impeccable authenticity to what goes into making it as a top fashion stylist.
All these panels will be done in English and available to watch live or on demand after the event until July 29. So what are you waiting for? Tickets, which come in several tiers, are available on the Forces of Fashion website now. (The all-access tickets are already sold out, so act fast.) Click here for the full lineup.
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Gucci Unveils New Archives in Florence

Gucci Unveils New Archives in Florence

FLORENCE, Italy — In the year marking its 100th anniversary, Gucci is celebrating its legacy while staying firmly focused on the future.
In conjunction with men’s trade fair Pitti Uomo, the brand has unveiled its archives here, a striking space covering 30,138 square feet conceived by creative director Alessandro Michele to gather under one roof the brand’s creations and pay homage to its 100-year history.
A few guests from the press were escorted inside the building, passing through the colonnaded courtyard filtering the blinding sun of a windy and blue-sky morning in Florence and were invited to discover the space nestled in the cobblestone street Via delle Caldaie in the Santo Spirito neighborhood.

The archive is housed inside the 16th-century Palazzo Settimanni, mentions of which date as far back as 1427, located on the left bank of the Arno river, where artisans and artists used to set up their ateliers and workshops and where the city’s aristocracy built their sumptuous villas close to Palazzo Pitti, where the Medici family had moved.
Palazzo Settimanni was acquired by Gucci in 1953 and over the course of seven decades was adapted to contain the brand’s first Florentine factory, as well as workshops and a showroom. Signs of its past could be perceived in its restored version spearheaded by the house under the lead of Michele, who sought to bring the multilayered space back to its ancient beauty.

The Gucci archive space at Palazzo Settimanni in Florence, Italy. 
Courtesy of Gucci

The five-story archives, including the ground floor and basement, were stripped of some recent additions to reveal traces of decorations, trompe l’oeil frescoes and mural paintings, which span three centuries from the 17th to the 19th. Renovation work on the palazzo included removing a ’90s covering of the entrance hall to let natural light filter through the portico.
In a nod to its multipurpose past and the surrounding neighborhood filled with ateliers, Gucci conscripted local artisans to work on the renovation, including for the terra-cotta tile flooring seen on several floors.
Such details as furniture, glass cases, down to the lamps and handles of each door — the latter molded in the shape of scissors — were intended to exalt the house’s craftsmanship, which the archives aim to spotlight and preserve.
“Palazzo Settimanni, now free of earlier additions, is transformed into a magical place to which I have restored a sense of porousness: you pass through it, air gets in, you can walk through it as if it were a journey. I’m porous, absorbent, permeable,” explained Michele. “I have restored to the palazzo a fairytale aura which, for instance, allows the small entrance hall to become a gateway to a dream dimension. I envisaged it as a sort of secret place within the house, an inner sanctum from where one sets out for Gucci’s holy lands,” he said.

Gucci’s president and CEO Marco Bizzarri with creative director Alessandro Michele in front of the painting “Fantino con bambina” by Domenico Induno inside the Gucci archive space. 
Valentina Sommariva/Courtesy of Gucci

Gucci called on Valerie Steele, director and chief curator of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, who offered her curatorial eye for the layout of some of the spaces.
“The archive is a memory palace,” she said. “Far from being a dusty attic, it is a dynamic system of knowledge production and inspiration. Archives are based on the drive to collect and categorize objects from the past, not because of any nostalgia, but because the style of objects changes over time. This relation to time means that a brand like Gucci, which has a 100-year history, develops archives in order to keep a tangible cultural heritage alive, now and for the future.”

Each room on the three exhibition floors inside the palazzo is devoted to a different theme — and product category — as an homage to the brand’s history and named after Michele’s lexicon for the house, including “Radura” grouping ceramics and homeware; “Herbarium” for vintage stationery objects, and “Maison de L’Amour” for leisure articles from the ‘60s and ‘70s, which included vintage syrup cups and even an off-kilter mirror framed by a golden cornet.
The ground floor is entirely dedicated to accessories, with vintage handbags taking center stage in the “Swan” room, where different versions of signature styles including the Bamboo and Jackie bags are displayed inside glass and steel cases and retrace their evolution over the years — while proving their ability to stand the test of time. A 1955 handbag featured the original horsebit hardware that has become a house signature element. Many of the styles are meticulously preserved inside armoires with a boat’s wheel-like handle, as in the “Hortus Deliciarum” room, the palazzo’s former garden with an ancient fountain.
The adjacent mirrored room, called “Le Marché des Merveilles,” highlights the house’s jewelry designs through the years, while small leather goods and luggage designs each have a dedicated space on the ground floor. In particular, luggage is displayed inside the “1921 Rifondazione” hall, named after the year the company was founded.
The first floor is dedicated to ready-to-wear, footwear and textile accessories such as scarves, twills and ties including some foulards bearing designs that illustrator and painter Vittorio Accornero de Testa created for the brand, such as the signature Flora pattern developed in 1966. The painter’s preparatory drawings on paper hang on the walls. Other rooms on the floor house rtw pieces and footwear, catalogued according to the year and season they were first presented. Here, too, the rooms are named after Michele’s lexicon, with such monikers as “Aveugle Par Amour” and “Alchemist’s Garden.”

The Gucci archive space at Palazzo Settimanni in Florence, Italy. 
Courtesy of Gucci

Celebrating its red-carpet credentials, Gucci installed a room called “Serapis,” which hosts a life-size, high-tech treasure chest. Upon request and with the help of a dedicated technician the chest opens to reveal some of Michele’s best-known red-carpet gowns hanging on mannequins, including looks sported by celebrities including Lana Del Rey, Bjork and Dakota Johnson.

“My task was to bring many objects back home, virtually helping them return to the family. To a place which ostensibly preserves the past, but which is actually a bridge to the contemporary. An ancient building is a living thing. Like fashion,” said Michele.
Aiming for the space to bridge the past and present of the storied house, the Gucci archive — which is not open to the public — is also poised to become home to the Gucci Education initiative, which offers employees educational and training opportunities. The Florentine space will flank the brand’s online education platform and community, which already offers training in fields including retail, supply chain, digital and human resources.
As reported, in 2018 Gucci also installed the “École de l’Amour,” or School of Love, workshop held at the company’s ArtLab industrial complex dedicated to leather goods and shoes, which it christened that same year in Scandicci, near Florence.

Nature Key Inspiration for Gucci’s Second High Jewelry Collection

Nature Key Inspiration for Gucci’s Second High Jewelry Collection

MILAN — Nature continues to be a boundless source of inspiration for Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele.
The Florence-based house is presenting its second high jewelry collection, which Michele named Hortus Deliciarum, or “Garden of Delights,” from Latin to English.
The presentation will be staged at the mid-19th-century, neoclassical residence Villa Pallavicino in Stresa, Italy, June 20 to 26.
The collection reflects Michele’s iconography and aesthetics and is inspired by the ever-changing hues of the sky at different times of the day and its constellations.
Michele, as reported, shone the light on Gucci’s high jewelry designs also presenting his most recent collection, called “Aria,” in April. “Everything must return to life, not be closed in vaults. I have a great passion for jewelry, they are our families’ history and are never dead — just like the brand,” Michele told WWD at the time, as usual wearing elaborate rings on every finger.

Hortus Deliciarum comprises more than 130 designs, largely one-of-a-kind, and its motifs are divided into four chapters.

A necklace from Gucci’s high jewelry Hortus Deliciarum collection. 
courtesy image

The first chapter is an ode to the beauty of natural landscapes, miniaturizing waterfalls through a cascade of diamonds, for example. Michele worked with fringed and tasseled necklaces and chandelier earrings and violet and plum-colored spinels floating among dangling drops of diamonds, or Paraiba tourmalines used to evoke the bright azure of the ocean.

A sky at sunset is at the center of the second chapter with opals and topazes sitting alongside spessartite garnets and tourmalines on a Georgiana collet-set Rivière necklace with an 8-carat opal set with twilight-hued gemstones. Michele described this construction as “discordant symmetry,” slightly mismatched to channel the concept of sunset.
The third chapter hinges on a romantic rose garden, represented by rococo bows and sautoirs paying homage to the poetic universe of botanicals. Here, gems include a pinkish-orange Padparadscha sapphire, or the deep indigo of the indicolite tourmalines. Some necklaces are designed with detachable pendants to be worn as charms, but there are also several dazzling brooches.

A design from Gucci’s high jewelry Hortus Deliciarum collection. 
courtesy image

The fourth chapter revisits the staple animals dear to Michele, from the lion to the tiger. Sky-blue tanzanites recur throughout, clasped by roaring lion heads and paired with serpentine opals and verdant tsavorites. In one collier-style necklace, a 16.36-carat opal is surrounded by 22 leonine figures. The designer introduced yellow in the collection through the use of several beryls.
Each animal is also surrounded by flowers, leaves and stars in ornate diamond settings and hidden engravings.
Afghani mint tourmaline, sunset-pink rubellite, velvety violet tanzanites, light orange sapphires, blushed-rosé topaz and mandarin garnets shine on the striking solitaires. Unique stones include a spectacular 60-carat rubbelite, a heart-shaped mandarin garnet, and a 16-carat Paraiba tourmaline.

A design from Gucci’s high jewelry Hortus Deliciarum collection. 
courtesy image

In April, Gucci launched its first high watchmaking collection, made in Switzerland, as reported.
As part of the new high jewelry collection, the company will also present new timepieces. Lion heads rotate to reveal and conceal ocean-blue Australian opal dials on a range of dazzling diamond-laden bracelets, set with violet tanzanites and rainbows of peridots, pink tourmalines, rubbelites and mandarin garnets.

Crucifix watches nod to the Renaissance, embellished with pavé-set dials and star-spangled spinels. A bangle watch is imbued with 275 perpendicular Art Deco diamond baguettes, with a striking concealed turquoise dial.

New Gucci Garden an Immersive Walk Through Alessandro Michele’s Seminal Campaigns

New Gucci Garden an Immersive Walk Through Alessandro Michele’s Seminal Campaigns

FLORENCE — Anyone expecting yet another fashion retrospective at the Gucci Garden in the year of the brand’s centenary is in for a surprise.
The exhibition venue has been completely transformed to reproduce 15 of the most innovative and groundbreaking communication campaigns by creative director Alessandro Michele.
Case in point, the theme of Gucci’s fall 2018 campaign — obsessive collectors — was translated into a room filled from floor to ceiling with shelves stacked with 1,400 cased butterflies, 110 colorful wigs, 420 Gucci sneakers and 182 cuckoo clocks across the height of one wall. Referencing the cruise 2019 campaign, images of a community of ark-builders — and any animal you can think of — ran across several screens in another room filled with hay — its strong scent transporting guests outside the locale.

“It was fun to try to reproduce these very complicated sets, and I now feel I am in a place that has been cleared of the past, which was wonderful, but we didn’t fit it in anymore and we didn’t want to be pigeonholed,” said Michele, sitting at a desk next to president and chief executive officer Marco Bizzarri.
The mood on Thursday was upbeat, marking one of the first IRL events here, while social distancing and masks were strictly enforced for the protection of a restricted number of about a dozen journalists. Michele, wearing an emerald green jacket over jeans, and Bizzarri in a checkered suit, were clearly pleased with the transformation of the Gucci Garden. (Incidentally, asked by one journalist what fashion item he wished he had invented, after blue jeans, already famously taken by Yves Saint Laurent, Michele said the jacket — and more specifically men’s suits, which “gave a voice to men and women, revolutionizing the world.”)

Gucci Garden, located in the medieval Palazzo della Mercanzia in Florence dating back to 1337, a few steps away from the Uffizi Gallery on Piazza della Signoria, was inaugurated in 2018, when Michele overhauled the label’s museum that had opened in 2011 under his predecessor Frida Giannini, to make it more in sync with his own aesthetics. Over the years the venue has staged several exhibitions, illustrating the evolution of the designer’s narrative in relation to the brand’s archives or dedicated to the exploration of masculinity.
“I liked the idea of the garden because it’s nature manipulated by man to grow in the place where the family sowed the seeds of the brand, and to have a container where we can make things happen,” explained Michele. “If we manage to even simply intrigue someone [with Gucci Garden], then we’ll have won. I wanted to avoid offering something deadly boring — 100 years may be a beautiful rounded date, but I see this as the first year of the future.
“I redesigned the spaces because I felt it was necessary,” continued Michele, giving a shoutout to Bizzarri for once again supporting his need for change. In turn, the executive said he was pleasantly surprised by the new Gucci Garden.
“And luckily I continue to be surprised. The last 12 months have been even more intense than our beginning at Gucci together,” he said, referring to the changes in the collections set in motion by the designer in 2020, with two shows a year according to Michele’s own creative pace, which also impacted the supply chain, for example.

“I like to be challenged, to feel a bit uncomfortable,” chimed in Michele with a smile.
Speaking of the exhibition, the designer said he “created a playground of emotions that are the same as in the campaigns, because they are the most explicit journey into my imagery.” Michele personally curated the exhibition, called “Garden Archetypes,” with Archivio Personale, the studio that designed the interiors.
“An archetype is the original form from which all copies are made, never able to be re-created in itself, and every Gucci campaign speaks of a unique and unrepeatable moment — expressing the spirit of each collection,” continued the designer.
To set this exhibition in Florence, “where everything started,” and referencing his first six years at the company, “our apparent and bold craziness,” was especially poignant, he admitted. His goal, however, was to create “a playful and light narration of images and references and memories of the years and what our subconscious produced. These are images that belong to us and that echoed in our mind.”
Asked how he chose the campaigns, Michele said the decisions were made instinctively and naturally, based on the “incredible experience” each had afforded at the time. “As in analysis, we dug deep in our subconscious.”
It was key for Michele to avoid any form of nostalgia, aiming for “vitality” grounded in the present.
He admitted “it was like putting [Jules] Verne in five rooms, it’s not easy to move from the beaches of L.A. to Berlin and the story of ‘Star Trek’.”
Michele’s disruption is clear right from the entrance of the exhibit, as colorful graffiti decorate the walls of the antique staircase in a reference to Gucci’s pre-fall advertising 2018 campaign photographed by Glen Luchford depicting Gucci-clad rebels occupying a university campus, challenging the establishment and asking for change, inspired by the bold French Nouvelle Vague imagery of the late ’50s and ’60s and the French 1968 student protests. The graffiti reproduce slogans in French that translate as “We are all united” or “Freedom, equality and sexuality,” among many others.
From Los Angeles’ subway carriage seen in Michele’s first campaign for fall 2015 to Berlin’s ‘80s nightclub bathroom the following year, intergalactic explorers, aliens, dancers and angels make up the characters stemming from the designer’s imagination.

Reproducing the spring 2018 campaign, interdisciplinary artist Ignasi Monreal created a giant hand-painted mural that took almost 900 hours to complete. It covers an entire room, ceiling included — with Michele’s image hidden among the many characters portrayed.
In another room, 150,000 sparkling sequins blanket the walls in a dazzling reinterpretation of the fall 2016 campaign in a trip through Tokyo, also photographed by Luchford, like several others exhibited. Elsewhere, a museum-style diorama serves as the frame to the creatures and aliens of the fall 2017 campaign’s trip to outer space. The painstaking details on the small figurines, from the necklaces to the Gucci shoes, are a testament to the artisans Michele worked with for the exhibition.
In one room, a circular projection created the immersive sensation of being on the floor with the all-Black dancers of the pre-fall 2017 campaign, which paid “homage to the elegance of Black culture,” responding to “the need for a better representation of the Black community in the fashion industry,” said Michele.
The designer’s new take on beauty is also covered, showing the first Gucci Beauty lipstick campaign fronted by punk singer Dani Miller, whose imperfect smile overthrew traditional beauty conventions, and the scented garden of the Gucci Bloom fragrance. Michele again thanked Bizzarri for supporting him in the choice of the unconventional models for Bloom, in particular model and trans woman Hari Nef, actress Dakota Johnson and feminist artist and photographer Petra Collins.
He expressed surprise — and some fatigue — at being identified with kicking off gender fluidity trends. “It’s just who I am and I did not invent gender fluidity. I’m happy that it’s been embraced but I don’t do politics. And all those ‘freaks,’ I want them naturally established and no longer underground. I’m now thinking of Grace Kelly films,” he added vaguely, laughing.
The exhibition will stay in place indefinitely at Gucci Garden while it is also set to travel to Asia, from Shanghai and Hong Kong to Taipei, Tokyo, Sydney, Bangkok and Seoul.
A virtual tour will be available online, and Gucci has also partnered again with the global online platform Roblox bringing into its metaverse a Gucci Garden shared experience that will open its doors on Monday for two weeks. Digital avatars will transform into mannequins absorbing elements of the exhibition, turning themselves into unique digital artworks.

“It is important to have spaces that are not usual to fuel creativity, which trickles down to the rest,” observed Bizzarri. “This overlapping of sectors can also eventually turn into business. It would have been stupid for us not to enter gaming,” he added, embracing an element of culture that is changing.

EXCLUSIVE: Gucci to Show Next Collection in Los Angeles

EXCLUSIVE: Gucci to Show Next Collection in Los Angeles

MILAN — Six years after Alessandro Michele’s first cruise runway show for Gucci in New York City at the Dia-Art Foundation, the designer is planning to return to the U.S.
Michele will present his next collection for Gucci with an in-person fashion show in Los Angeles on Nov. 3.
The show will coincide with the occasion of the 10th LACMA Art+Film Gala, taking place on Nov. 6, for which Gucci is the founding and presenting sponsor.
In May 2020, Gucci was expected to hold its cruise show in San Francisco, but the COVID-19 pandemic prevented the brand from carrying out that plan. Over the previous five years Michele had taken the brand’s cruise collections to different locations, all historically and culturally charged. In addition to the Dia Art Foundation the venues included the Cloisters of Westminster Abbey in London; the Palatine Gallery in Palazzo Pitti in Florence; the Promenade Des Alyscamps in Arles, and the Capitoline Museums in Rome.

Michele, however, has now changed the pace of Gucci’s collections. In 2020, five years after his debut at the fashion house, in the midst of the global pandemic, the designer decided to abandon what he has called “the worn-out ritual of seasonalities and shows to regain a new cadence, closer to my expressive call. We will meet just twice a year, to share the chapters of a new story.” He conceived new names for the collections, inspired by the music world.

After Epilogue, the conclusive chapter of Michele’s previous narrative, presented in July last year during Milan Digital Fashion Week, Michele directed with Gus Van Sant a series of seven episodes for his collection “Ouverture of Something That Never Ended” shown in November 2020, tapping the likes of Billie Eilish, Harry Styles and Florence Welch, among others.
Last month, in a first step in the year marking Gucci’s centenary, Michele presented his “Aria” collection through a film he once again directed, this time with Floria Sigismondi, revisiting a number of the brand’s signature designs, from the Bamboo bag to the Flora motif, and introducing an innovative tie-up with Balenciaga.
On the occasion, the designer told WWD that he felt “free,” giving “a natural rhythm” to the collections. “Of course, there is more responsibility in this self-pacing, and I want to be attentive to the company and position the brand in a respectful way. I see there is a very democratic movement, designers are positioning their brands in ways that will avoid getting in the way of the others.” Michele revealed during the interview that the Aria collection will be shown in Shanghai later this spring.

The House of Gucci: A Complete History and Timeline

The House of Gucci: A Complete History and Timeline

Just like the long-lived mythological phoenix, Gucci has cyclically regenerated, reaching its centenary in 2021, passing through family feuds, take-over attempts, a near-bankruptcy, a public listing, storybook turnarounds and even a murder — which has sparked the Ridley Scott film “House of Gucci” starring Lady Gaga — but the allure of the brand is enduring.
An allure that was carefully crafted by the founder himself, Guccio Gucci, who in 1897 found work at London’s prestigious Savoy Hotel as a bellboy. Famously, the tale goes that he was inspired to create his company by the luxurious suitcases and trunks carried by the aristocrats staying at the hotel. The original storyteller, Gucci associated the brand with luxury and those aristocrats’ pastimes, such as horse-riding —  hence the brand’s signature horsebit decorative element.

In 1921, Gucci’s first stores opened in Florence, where he founded the company. The boutique in Rome’s luxury shopping street Via Condotti opened in 1938.
Gucci was not one to lose heart and, as a result of a League of Nations embargo against Italy, he found alternatives to imported leather and other materials in the 1935-1936 period, developing a specially woven hemp from Naples, printed with the first signature print — a series of small, interconnecting diamonds in dark brown on a tan background. This served to launch the brand’s first successful suitcases.

Production of leather goods resumed after World War II, and Gucci’s son Aldo introduced the pigskin, which became a signature house material. The first bamboo-handled bag, inspired by the shape of a saddle, is thought to be produced in this period.
In addition to Aldo, Gucci and his wife Aida had two other sons, Vasco and Rodolfo.
In 1948, Maurizio Gucci was born to Rodolfo and his wife, Alessandra.
In 1951, Rodolfo opened the first Milan store, on Via Montenapoleone. Around this time, the green-red-green web became a hallmark of the company.
In 1953, a pioneer if Italian design in the U.S., Aldo Gucci opened the first American store in the Savoy Plaza Hotel on East 58th Street in New York. Guccio Gucci died at age 72, 15 days after the New York store opening. The Gucci loafer with metal horsebit was created that year and in 1985 it would be displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, becoming part of the permanent collection.
The house’s crest became a registered trademark in 1955.
In 1961, stores opened in London and Palm Beach and the bag that Jacqueline Kennedy was seen with was renamed the Jackie, which would be relaunched in 1999 in many colors and variations to great success, opening the era of the Gucci “It” bag.
In the early ‘60s, the GG logo was applied to canvas and used for bags, small leather goods, luggage and the first pieces of clothing.
In 1966, the Flora scarf print was designed for Princess Grace of Monaco. The pattern has become iconic for Gucci, revisited by creative directors Frida Giannini and, most recently by Alessandro Michele in his Aria collection.
In 1972, Gucci opened a store in Tokyo and Maurizio Gucci, Rodolfo’s son, moved to New York to work with his uncle Aldo until 1982. Around this time, the brand hit its fashion stride. A store dedicated to clothing opened at 699 Fifth Avenue in New York, while 689 Fifth Avenue focused on shoes, bags, luggage and accessories.

Gucci’s first fragrance was launched in 1975 and scents would continue to be a stronghold for the company, from Gucci Guilty and Flora by Gucci to Gucci by Gucci and Gucci Bloom.
In 1981, Gucci showed ready-to-wear for the first time at the Sala Bianca in Florence, playing heavily on the Flora print.
In 1982, leadership of the company passed on to Rodolfo Gucci and the following year to his son Maurizio, who was the first to dream of the relaunch the family brand, which had lost its exclusivity and luster, as it became associated with cheap duty-free bags.
In 1989, Maurizio Gucci teamed with Bahrain-based investment banking and asset management company Investcorp, which purchased 50 percent of Gucci shares from the family — Aldo was the last to accept to sell.
Maurizio Gucci’s intuition was to call Dawn Mello, then president of Bergdorf Goodman, to revitalize the brand. She brought Richard Lambertson, head of Bergdorf’s accessories department, to be the design director and in 1990 American designer Tom Ford joined the company to oversee women’s ready-to-wear.
Gucci’s restructuring was hit by a difficult retail market in the early ‘90s while customers had to adjust to a new and more sophisticated product, and in 1993, Maurizio Gucci transferred his shares to Investcorp, ending the family’s involvement in the firm.
In 1994 Ford was appointed creative director. His first collection, for fall 1995, focused on jet-set glamour and was a critical and commercial success, putting the label back at the forefront of fashion.
On March 27, 1995, Maurizio Gucci was gunned down in front of his office in Milan.
For nearly two years the identity of Maurizio’s killer remained a mystery, until it was revealed that his ex-wife Patrizia Reggiani — through her spiritual adviser —  had hired a hit man to end his life.
The year Maurizio died, Gucci went public on the New York and Amsterdam stock exchanges, as the company thrived under the lead of CEO Domenico De Sole and Ford — dubbed the Tom and Dom Dream Team, becoming architects of the ultimate luxury brand revival.
De Sole, previously CEO of Gucci America Inc., began reining in licenses, franchises and secondary lines to reverse a decade that saw the overexposure of the brand and the cheapening of its image.

In the mid-’90s, Ford’s collections set the sleek, sexy, modern style of the house’s look and established it as a brand dedicated to evening glamour, attracting Hollywood A-listers.
De Sole and Ford became friends and allies in what would become a history-making war with LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.
A few years after Ford’s breakout, the company piqued the interest of Prada, which took a 9.5 percent stake. Between June 1998 and February 1999, LVMH chief Bernard Arnault began to amass Gucci shares, eventually building up a stake of 34.4 percent through a series of transactions, before attempting a takeover, which was eventually foiled.
De Sole and Ford had cried foul, igniting what was one of the most dramatic corporate fashion battles of the 20th century. Gucci accused LVMH — which by then had swallowed up Prada’s stake in the company — of wanting to take “creeping control” without launching a full and fair bid to shareholders. That move would have been perfectly legal in the Netherlands, where Gucci was listed.
Arnault’s French rival François Pinault rode in as Gucci’s white knight, and brought the company into what was then PPR, and is now known as Kering.
The two companies fought bitterly in the Dutch courts — and in the international press — and swapped lawsuits and vitriol on an almost daily basis.
More lawsuits ensued following PPR’s purchase, and LVMH finally forced its French rival to launch a full and fair takeover of Gucci, which it did on Sept. 10, 2001. Ultimately, PPR won full control over Gucci.
In the ensuing years, De Sole and Ford shifted their focus: Gucci morphed into Gucci Group, and the two set about spending the $2.9 billion from the PPR deal. In less than three years, they bought Yves Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, Boucheron and Bedat.
Tensions built between the new management and Ford and De Sole, who eventually left the company in 2004  after trying — and failing — to strike a deal for management, financial and creative independence.
In 2002 Frida Giannini, previously handbag designer for Fendi, joined the label’s accessories department, contributing bold reinventions of house signatures as part of Ford’s design team.

In 2004, when Ford left, John Ray took over men’s design; Alessandra Facchinetti took on women’s, and Giannini became creative director of accessories. Robert Polet, the head of Unilever’s $7.8 billion frozen-food division, traded ice cream and fish sticks for handbags and stilettos as the new CEO of Gucci Group. Mark Lee, CEO of Yves Saint Laurent, was named Gucci CEO.
In 2005 Giannini was appointed creative director of women’s ready-to-wear and a year later, she added the role of creative director for men’s wear.
During the celebration for the 70th anniversary of its Roman store, the 2009 cruise collection show was live-streamed on the website.
In 2009 Patrizio di Marco, head of group-owned Bottega Veneta, joined Gucci as president and CEO succeeding Lee.
In 2010, the Singapore Paragon Gucci store reopened, and the city-state celebrated Giannini with a special orchid, the Paravanda Frida.
Giannini proposed clothes with a functional chic and a hefty dose of the essential house glamour. The designer and di Marco, who grew to become partners in life, emphasized the brand’s Italian craftsmanship, archival iconography and jet-set lifestyle.
In December 2014, following a slowdown in sales, di Marco exited the company, followed a month later by Giannini.
Di Marco was succeeded by Marco Bizzarri, a former Bottega Veneta CEO and previously head of Kering’s luxury couture and leather goods division, in January 2015. In another storybook turnaround, Bizzarri famously promoted Giannini’s deputy and head accessories designer Alessandro Michele as creative director that same January, two days after the designer showed his completely new, quirky and androgynous aesthetic for Gucci’s men’s fall 2015 season.
Quickly assembled in only a few days, following the sudden exit of Giannini a week earlier, that men’s fall 2015 collection sowed the seeds of Michele’s style, which would help return Gucci to the fashion forefront, cater to a younger customer and fueling growth exceeding 35 percent for five consecutive quarters by the first quarter of 2018, prompting Bizzarri to set a 10 billion euro revenue target for the brand in June that year.

Michele revisited Gucci’s iconic GG logo, canvas bags and horse-bit loafers, which he turned into fur-lined slippers and clogs, further driving sales of the accessories division — historically a cash cow for the brand. Logo bags came hand-painted with flowers or embroidered with big insects — a theme dear to Michele, who continued to explore it over the seasons.
Five years after his debut at Gucci, in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Michele abandoned what he has called “the worn-out ritual of seasonalities and shows to regain a new cadence, closer to my expressive call. We will meet just twice a year, to share the chapters of a new story,” conceiving new names for the collections and inspired by the music world.
Michele directed with Gus Van Sant a series of seven episodes for his collection “Ouverture of Something That Never Ended” in November 2020, tapping the likes of Billie Eilish, Harry Styles and Florence Welch, among others.
In April 2021, marking the brand’s 100th milestone, Michele presented his “Aria” collection, revisiting a number of Gucci signature designs, from the Bamboo bag to the Flora motif, and introducing an innovative tie-up with Balenciaga.
Gucci is sure to get an extra dose of attention from the “House of Gucci” movie being filmed in Italy and expected to premiere in theaters on Nov. 24, with Lady Gaga playing Patrizia Reggiani, Adam Driver as Maurizio Gucci and Al Pacino in the role of Aldo Gucci. Reggiani, who was due to spend 26 years in jail, was freed after 17 years. Although she openly admitted hating her ex-husband, she denied ever wanting to kill him.

Exploring the Gucci/Balenciaga Tie-up

Exploring the Gucci/Balenciaga Tie-up

MILAN — Arguably, never has a hacking job been as lauded as Gucci’s “incursion” into the Balenciaga brand.
Creative director Alessandro Michele presented his Aria collection for Gucci on Thursday, unveiling designs that pay tribute to Demna Gvasalia, creative director of Balenciaga, Guccifying the designer’s silhouettes and placing the two brands’ labels on a shiny, sequined pantsuit, for example. Michele told WWD that he and Gvasalia “really wanted to surprise viewers with these designs,” aiming to continue to experiment in “a dialogue with the outside world,” and feeling like “playing with possibly the biggest sacrilege,” blending distinctive elements and logos from two very recognizable brands, “getting out of the closed-in atelier. Creativity means dialogue, continuous experiment and freedom.”

How this will translate in production and distribution remains unanswered for the time being as Gucci on Friday said it was “really premature to speculate further on this ‘hacking project,’” underscoring that it was neither a collaboration nor a capsule. No matter — branding experts and analysts piled on the praise, basically defining the whole idea as “genius,” and giving their stamp of approval over the strategy behind it.
“Both being owned by Kering, it’s a win-win, and arguably an easier deal to structure being both in-house,” said Los Angeles-based lawyer Jeff Gluck, who specializes in intellectual property litigation. “I’m not aware of the deal structure but typically the IP is owned by the house, not the designer. I do think this is another example of rules being broken in a good way and industry norms becoming more unrestrained. I’m still waiting for that Nike x Adidas collaboration.”

The tie-up “brings additional desire to the Gucci brand,” said Alessandro Maria Ferreri, chief executive officer and owner of The Style Gate consulting firm. “This is an especially intelligent project, it’s subtler than co-branding. One brand is reworking the aesthetic code of another label, taking iconic shapes and molding them into something new. And both designers are disruptive. Alessandro sprinkled a good dose of pepper on Gucci.”
For all intents and purposes, he continued, these are Gucci products and the company, he believes, is “testing the waters, feeling the temperature” of the reaction to the products, and will then adjust and fine-tune the distribution, depending on the feedback, maybe channeling a few pieces to celebrities and influencers and then merchandising them for the larger public, perhaps through pop-ups or shops-in-shop. This tie-up is easier to manage for a company such as Gucci that can rely on a formidable retail network, he noted.
Ferreri said the amount of paperwork, red tape, contracts and negotiations between Gucci and Balenciaga had to be less than any other collaboration with an outside company, as they are both owned by Kering. “It would be great to see a Bamboo bag in the Bottega Veneta intrecciato,” he mused, speaking of another Kering brand.
Indeed, Ferreri underscored how this “hacking project” is in sync with remarks made in February by Kering CEO François-Henri Pinault on increasing the number of in-store and digital merchandising events, pop-ups and pop-ins, capsule collections “and powerful creative collaborations” for Gucci, commenting on the label’s 10.3 percent drop in organic sales in the fourth quarter last year.

“Creativity in fashion and luxury is nourished by the constant changes in society’s attitudes, and by understanding the new needs and desires resulting from those changes, enabling creators to provide personal responses that are both surprising and relevant,” Pinault said on Thursday. “I have seen how their innovative, inclusive and iconoclastic visions are aligned with the expectations and desires of people today,” he said of Michele and Gvasalia. “Those visions are reflected not only in their creative offerings, but also in their ability to raise questions about our times and its conventions. The unique, creative experience witnessed [in the Aria collection] is a perfect example of their approach, and illustrates the extent to which creativity and freedom are linked at Kering.”
In an interview on Friday, Gvasalia, creative director of Balenciaga, said Michele’s “hacking” brought the “don’t ask, don’t tell” practice of design appropriation into the open.
“It’s such an amazing, brave conceptual idea to do that — saying and assuming, OK, we’re all influenced by each other in a way, and fashion is an evolution of these kinds of influences. And I think they did it in a great way,” Gvasalia said.
“That idea immediately spoke to me because I felt it brings something new out there in terms of how brands see each other,” he added. “It was a more conceptual exchange.”
Marketing and communication adviser Paolo Landi also said this was a “beautiful idea,” but he believes the true added value of this operation is “immaterial or rather, the immaterial value by far surpasses the potential tangible value. The high conceptual content of the project brings to Gucci, but also to Balenciaga, an enormous intangible value, in terms of modernity of the company culture.”
He sees “the walls of competition being broken down. The rules of strategic positioning are overthrown, as two storied brands are joined together in the modernity of an offer that is disorienting.” The end-results are shared, he said, and the two companies become “even stronger, precisely because of the innovative character of the operation,” stimulating “a dialogue between two of the best talents today, bringing vitality in the universe of fashion, which is sometimes static.”

Landi compared the Gucci-Balenciaga project to “certain artistic partnerships in the past,” such as the 1620 “Martirio delle Sante Rufina e Seconda” in Milan’s Pinacoteca di Brera, dubbed a “painting of the three hands,” because it was realized by three painters — Giovan Battista Cerano, Pier Francesco Morazzone and Giulio Cesare Procaccini. “But there are other examples where one painter, for example, creates the figures and the other the landscape,” said Landi.
The market “always rewards bravery and innovation, especially the financial markets, but I am convinced that also in terms of sales, these products will be successful because of the uniqueness of the event, which will probably be unrepeatable,” according to Landi. The value of this win-win strategy, paradoxically, would be even stronger if the two brands were not both owned by Kering, he concluded.
Analysts were also upbeat about the potential of the project. Equity analyst Fabio Cereda at Jefferies International Limited said the Aria collection was “one of Gucci’s best events — smart and a proper statement of intent in its centenary year. Kind of ‘don’t you forget about me’ on steroids.”
He defined the project with a brand under the same Kering umbrella “a genius idea” for Gucci, believing this “could be a test with scalability.” He also praised the selection of Bamboo bags presented on Thursday, which in a report earlier this month he said are “expected to resonate well with the European cluster in particular given the key heritage component,” seeing them as “a core driver of what we expect to see gradually improving metrics later this year.”
Luca Solca, senior research analyst, global luxury goods at Bernstein, believes the tie-up “is a good idea. Gucci especially needs to create a novelty effect in China with the young Chinese who have bought a lot of Alessandro Michele’s products. We are seeing an excellent reaction on Chinese social media and the collection seems really different, which is a good reason to buy it. Bravo Gucci.”
Vincenzo Di Sarli, president and founder of DMR Group, which focuses on monitoring, tracking and analyzing data, communication activities and public relations strategies for leading brands worldwide, concurred with Solca. In China, he said, consumers are always “rushing for the latest news,” and Di Sarli expects this project to be successful in the region.

He also sees it as “a step forward in fashion.” While leveraging synergies with Kering, Michele succeeded in bringing novelty, foregoing any kind of rivalry with another designer, on the contrary pairing with a young and buzzy designer. “It’s a genius idea because both brands are within the same group, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this happened with more Kering labels.”
“It’s a sign of the times, an evolution, young people want new things to differentiate themselves, there’s more and more research and communication. A few years ago, who would have imagined Chiara Ferragni joining Tod’s as board member?” he said, referring to the recent appointment of the digital entrepreneur. “Content constantly evolves, young people are thirsty for news, the mobile phone is a window on the world and everyone is always at the window.”
The COVID-19 pandemic “has closed an era and opened another one, with new revolutionary phenomena taking place, and fashion reflects what will happen in the future.” Di Sarli also underscored that “there is a great communication project behind this launch, it takes very little to make a mistake, but they are genius at communicating and have caught our attention.”
Rebecca Robins, chief learning and culture officer at Interbrand, also pointed to the element of novelty. “Collaborations are taking new shapes and forms in the industry, from the open collaboration model of Moncler Genius, to the co-creative leadership at Prada. Both brands are well known for ‘iconic’ brand tangos, most recently with Gucci x The North Face, and Balenciaga x Crocs. It’s not a surprising move for Gucci, as a brand that’s been breaking boundaries and defining its own rules and playbook for some time, with Alessandro Michele even creating his own lexicon for collections.”
Collaboration might not be the right word for this current Balenciaga/Gucci combination, said Jenn Szekely, managing partner at Coley Porter Bell (U.S.), but “where we are in today’s market a collaboration can be a desirable thing for customers of these brands. The key is to make sure it is a 1+1=3 equation, where they offer something unique that captures the essence of both brands, instead of a copy and paste, and then they will create real desire and command a price premium above their current price points.”

Szekely said that, from a branding perspective, “we are getting more and more inquiries to help companies determine the optimal relationship between two brands as these partnerships proliferate. There a variety of ways these brands can go to market (co-branded, one leads versus the other, one is an ingredient within another) and determining the right go-to-market approach is a critical part of launching these collaborations.”

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