The brand’s exponential turnaround is thanks to its “relentless Gucciness”
“The world is very Gucci now/You know why it’s Gucci time” are the lyrics to a 2010 Gucci Mane track, yes, but they are also highly applicable to Gucci’s current superstar turnaround. The label — once struggling in 2015 — saw its sales grow 49 percent in the third quarter of 2017.
What’s behind the turnaround? The credit goes to Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele, appointed to the position in 2015 after stints at Fendi and Tom Ford. Michele is Gucci incarnate or, as Fashionista puts it, the force behind Gucci’s “relentless Gucciness.” In other words, when you have your look, commit to it.
It was reported in August that Michele has sent an astounding 865 looks down the runway, with an additional 162 split between two pre-fall collections. In spite of Gucci’s CEO Marco Bizzarri (also credited with the success of the brand’s turnaround) saying that there was “no magic formula,” I disagree. I think thanks to Michele and his shadow committee of millennials, they’ve created a world that feels like a needed escape from the shock and dreariness of 2017. Its complete and utter — almost Baroque — maximalism works really well with the sorts of accounts popular on Instagram right now like @shesvague, @virgomood, and @decorhardcore. This over-the-top sensibility is combined with a millennial understanding seen in the brand’s #TFWGucci campaign, a collection of memes to promote their new collection of watches.
Gucci also hired young art star Coco Capitán for its Fall 2017 collection to deface logo T-shirts, sweatshirts and bags with aphorisms like “Common sense isn’t all that common” and “What are we going to do with all this future?”
Speaking at WWD’s Apparel & Retail CEO Summit, Bizzarri gave some additional clues as to Gucci’s success, and many of those ideas can be summed up in the quote he shared from famous management consultant Peter Drucker: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Bizzarri described a work environment where creativity and emotion are at the center of the brand. For instance, he doesn’t share sales figures with Michele because his job is to “be creative.” Bizzarri also relies on a committee of millennials (people under 30) to let him know what’s working and where new processes should be in place.
So far it seems like their magic formula has worked. Let the relentlessness of Gucci continue.