Frida Giannini & Patrizio di Marco leaving Gucci - Page 5 - the Fashion Spot
 
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12-12-2014
  61
Mr. Magic
 
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PARIS — A search for a new creative director is under way at Gucci.

Gucci parent Kering said Frida Giannini would step down from her role at the end of February after showing her fall-winter 2015 collection on Feb. 25 in Milan, and Gucci's chief executive officer Patrizio di Marco is to exit on Jan. 1 after six years at the management helm.

The news sparked a guessing game as to who could succeed Giannini. Speculation has long been focusing on Givenchy’s creative director Riccardo Tisci, whom sources continue to say heads up the list of potential candidates.

Asked about Tisci, a Kering spokeswoman said, “We never comment on rumors. All I can say is the recruitment is under way.”

LVMH declined to comment on the Tisci speculation.

Other sources suggested Joseph Altuzarra could be an internal possibility. Kering took a minority stake in his New York-based fashion house last year and the designer has sat front row at the Gucci show.

Marco Bizzarri, named chief executive of Kering's luxury couture and leather goods division last April, is to succeed di Marco at the helm of the Florentine house.

"There is no change in terms of strategic approach for Gucci. We will continue to pursue the implementation of the brand elevation strategy," Francois-Henri Pinault, chairman and ceo of Kering, told WWD.

"Marco's expertise, but also his knowledge of the Kering group, makes him the perfect choice to build on Gucci's extraordinary legacy to lead the brand to a new momentum," Pinault added.

Kering shares were trading down 1.5 percent at 156.50 euros, or $194.56, shortly after Friday's opening on the Paris Stock Exchange. The CAC 40 was down 0.7 percent.

Bizzarri, who piloted Bottega Veneta, Kering's most upscale leather goods brand, before his April promotion, should offer a steady hand to Gucci, which is trying to reinvent itself with fewer logo products and stem sliding sales in China.

Gucci's sales slipped 1.6 percent to 851 million euros, or $1.13 billion, in the third quarter, eclipsed by smaller, but more dynamic brands in the conglomerate, especially Saint Laurent, helmed by French fashion star Hedi Slimane and tracking a 27.6 percent gain in the period.

Asia Pacific represents a particular challenge for Gucci, precipitating a management shakeup in the region. Sales there declined 5 percent in the third quarter, reflecting the disruption of pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong and Macau.

Mirenda Yeung, previously general manager of Gucci in Taiwan, was promoted to president of Gucci in Greater China, effective in January. She succeeds Carol Shen, an Estée Lauder veteran who had joined the Italian brand in mid-2012.

Before Gucci, Yeung had worked for Chanel in Singapore and Louis Vuitton in Tawian, Hong Kong and Vancouver.

Announced in October, Gucci noted its new structure for the Asia-Pacific region, excluding Japan, would allow headquarters to work more directly with the respective markets and ensure the “effective implementation” of its strategy.

Kering has trumpeted more positive trends in directly operated stores in North America and Japan — up 8 percent and 4 percent, respectively, in the third quarter — underlining the success of Gucci’s “brand elevation” strategy, hinged on more leather products.

The company cited “solid trends” in handbags, which represent 32 percent of retail sales, fanned by the new Swing and Bright Diamante lines, with the Jackie Soft also showing promise. It also touted double-digit growth for Giannini’s fall ready-to-wear and noted men’s and women’s shoes “grew nicely.” Small leather goods and luggage were in negative territory.

Thomas Chauvet, luxury analyst at Citi, said in a report that he expects Gucci’s new designer to confirm the brand elevation strategy initiated several years ago (more leather/no logo, less canvas/logo)” and to “drive a re-acceleration in sales following two years of subdued growth and five quarters of flat to negative trends. We expect minimal operational disruption near-term.”

Chauvet forecasts a "moderate improvement" at Gucci in the fourth quarter: up 1 percent versus declines in the last two quarters. The bank estimates that the Gucci brand will account for about 35 percent of Kering's sales and 60 percent of group operating profits for full-year 2014.

He trumpeted Bizzarri’s tenure at Bottega Veneta, which “enjoyed one of the most exceptional growth stories in the luxury industry in the past decade.”

“This was a change that was a long time in the making,” said analyst Luca Solca, managing director of equities and head of luxury goods at Exane BNP Paribas. “Di Marco and Giannini have presided over Gucci for a whole era, taking it to new heights. It is in the nature of the business that managers go, and brands remain. Gucci is one the most prominent luxury mega-brands. It will benefit from new ideas and fresh energy. The key to stay relevant in luxury goods is continuing reinvention. Marco Bizzarri is a proven team builder and a very good manager. He could take over the great work Patrizio had done at Bottega Veneta, and bring the brand to new heights. We expect he is setting himself up to do the same at Gucci. With Bizzarri, we also see low risk of a 'kitchen sink' brand reset.”

At Gucci, di Marco and Giannini, who are also a couple and have a daughter together, highlighted Italian artisanal craftsmanship, raised the luxury content and reworked several of the brand’s staple and archival designs.

Giannini joined Kering more than 12 years ago, becoming head of design for leather goods in 2004. She was appointed sole creative director in 2006. Pinault thanked Giannini for “her extraordinary passion, dedication and contribution” to Gucci. He underscored how being the creative director for close to a decade was “a remarkable accomplishment.”

Bizzarri joined Kering in 2005 as ceo of Stella McCartney and was appointed ceo of Bottega Veneta in January 2009.

Pinault will take on Bizzarri’s role as ceo of Kering’s luxury division in the interim. Reporting to Pinault as ceo of Gucci, Bizzarri is to continue the brand’s “elevation strategy to continue to strengthen [its ] international growth, reinforce its unique positioning and develop the iconic Florentine house throughout the changing world of luxury,” according to Kering.

Pinault also thanked di Marco, saying, “The great performances achieved by the Gucci brand during his tenure stand as a testament to his success. His strategic vision, passion, dedication and charisma were key to bring Gucci where it is today.”

Giannini and di Marco have just returned from trips to Japan and Russia, capping off a year of travels that included stints in the U.S. and Brazil.

During his trip to Tokyo in November, di Marco maintained that the Italian brand was on the right track in terms of its repositioning efforts and working to boost its competitive edge over rivals. Di Marco and Giannini at the time both reiterated their denials that they plan to go anywhere soon — at least of their own volition.

The double departure at Gucci echoes what transpired in 2003, when Tom Ford and Domenico De Sole — the dynamic duo who built Gucci into one of fashion’s hottest houses and built a luxury conglomerate around it — resigned.

Earlier this month, Michele Sofisti, ceo of Gucci watches and jewelry, also left the company. Di Marco was to take over his duties in the interim.
wwd.com

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12-12-2014
  62
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Hallelujah, praise the Lord, let's speak in tongues!

Such a lovely Christmas gift!

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12-12-2014
  63
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What about Massimiliano G from Ferragamo ??

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12-12-2014
  64
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Yay!!Woo hoo!! I wish Gucci will once again be a fashion leader and not a high street brand.

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12-12-2014
  65
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Frida did some great things at Gucci but I can't say I'm surprised by her leaving. I am really curious to see her final collection for the brand in February.
As for who will replace her, I can't think of anyone who instantly feels like the perfect choice. That said, I am excited by the prospect of Rick Owens taking over because I feel he could bring a freshness and maybe a different kind of sensuality to the Gucci woman. When it comes to Joseph Altuzarra, I don't understand what he and Gucci have in common; I can't quite put my finger on it but he just doesn't feel right for this.

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12-12-2014
  66
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Quote:
Who Will Replace Frida Giannini at Gucci?
By Nicole Phelps

While fashion’s attentions were trained on Tokyo for Dior’s Pre-Fall show and New York for Valentino’s bonus haute couture collection this week, Page Six dropped a bomb. The New York Post column reported that Gucci CEO Patrizio di Marco and his partner, Frida Giannini, are out at the Kering-owned brand. Kering confirmed the duo will be stepping down via press release this morning, naming Marco Bizzarri, CEO of Kering’s luxury couture and leather goods division, as Di Marco’s replacement. The creative director announcement will apparently come later. Giannini will depart after showing her next womenswear ready-to-wear collection in February. So who will take her place?

Giannini took on the Gucci creative director position for Spring 2006 after making a name for herself in the label’s accessories division. She replaced Alessandra Facchinetti, who spent two seasons in the creative director role as Tom Ford’s star-crossed successor. Giannini has had a better time of it than her short-lived predecessor, but neither woman has ever quite managed to recapture the sex quotient and subsequent buzz factor that made Ford a star. He was always going to be a tough act to follow.

Ford breathed new life into a failed brand; harder or not, Giannini’s job was to keep its heart beating. Early on she was criticized by the fashion press for the commercialism of her collections. The Post alluded to Gucci’s overexpansion in China and disappointing recent quarterly results. Lately the brand has been signaling its intention to move away from a logo-centric offering to a more high-end, exclusive product. I don’t know enough about the business side of things to weigh in, but from a fashion perspective, the problem with Giannini’s style, if there was one, was the unpredictability of her collections—1920s Art Deco one season, followed by Arthur Rimbaud-influenced decadence the next, and after that Marella Agnelli’s 1960s chic. Though less radical, Giannini belongs to the Marc Jacobs school of design, one in which newness counts for more than consistency.

Along the way, Giannini produced some bona fide hit collections. The thing is, fashion is moving in a different direction at the moment. Dependability, as unsexy as it sounds, is trending, and incremental change now trumps the 180. See Hedi Slimane’s Saint Laurent and Nicolas Ghesquière’s Louis Vuitton, two of the hottest brands around, for proof. As Giannini moved from one influence to another, it got harder to decipher what Gucci stood for on the runway. That said, she had been on an upswing. Her last two runway collections tapped into her ’60s/’70s sweet spot.

But it doesn’t appear to have been enough to keep the Kering executives happy. So, who’s right for Gucci, the famous Florentine maker of leather goods-turned-global purveyor of luxury products? Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci has long been rumored to be a front-runner, but it’s hard to tell how easily he could be lured from the LVMH-owned label, and he recently stated his desire to build Givenchy into a fully fledged lifestyle brand. Christopher Kane and Joseph Altuzarra, both of whose businesses Kering has recently invested in, are talented but seem unlikely choices given their lack of significant accessories offerings.

It certainly would be nice to see a woman replace Giannini; there are few enough female designers heading up high-fashion brands as it is. So we’re going to go out on a limb here and pitch Mansur Gavriel’s Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel. They single-handedly created the current vogue for bucket bags with the streamlined version they designed a little over a year ago, and lots of attention has been paid to everything they’ve done since. Sure, they’re a super long shot without ready-to-wear experience, but so was Giannini nine years ago. Another interesting candidate: stylist-turned-shoemaker success story Tabitha Simmons. Having worked with Dolce & Gabbana and Tory Burch for years, she’s had her hands on a lot of clothes; she knows what works. And she’s well connected, which counts.

More likely, given Gucci’s status as the company’s powerhouse, Kering executives are looking for a name. Someone like Céline’s Phoebe Philo is presumably unavailable, and though his name still comes up every time a situation like this surfaces, Helmut Lang has never publicly expressed any desire to return from early retirement. So, Christophe Lemaire? He brought excitement to Hermès during his recent stint there. Fashion people will surely like the idea of a more exclusive Gucci. The Hermès of Italy has a nice ring to it.
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12-12-2014
  67
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I think Giambattista Valli, Aquilano and Rimondi, Angelo Marani, or Francesco Scognamiglio will be great for Gucci

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12-12-2014
  68
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Olivier Theyskens seems quite fitting. I also wouldn't mind seeing Narciso Rodriguez, or Stefano Pilati if wasn't at Agnona & Ermenegildo Zegna I think that would be very interesting. I could even see someone like Stella Jean, I just want to see someone new and innovative.

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13-12-2014
  69
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Finally! I never found her collections desirable. Their was no sex appeal to the brand anymore. It's like the Gucci women because old, retired and dried up,...

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13-12-2014
  70
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Hedi Slimane

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13-12-2014
  71
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I would like to focus on Mr. Pinault's comment for a second, "now I think we probably need more daring shows." A rather crazy idea, but not totally impossible, Tom Ford going back to Gucci. Unprecedented, but it could be the ultimate surprise.

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13-12-2014
  72
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Uhm, what about Ralph Rucci? And not just because his last name rhymes with Gucci?! I think that could be incredibly interesting.

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13-12-2014
  73
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I was thinking .... Haider Ackermann would be a good choice for this. He does both womenswear and menswear. His designs always have this feeling of luxury with a hint of sexy, but not too much. Perhaps with some exploration into the Gucci archives, he could really take some inspiration from the Tom Ford years, but make it his own. I would love to see it.

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14-12-2014
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I was thinking Alber Elbaz , although I don't think he will move to another house. He would be a very nice candidate .

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14-12-2014
  75
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Kors for Gucci

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