While fashion itself seems to be in a slumber (how many brick and mortar retail stores can they really close?!), one brand is out there KILLING IT! You may have run across some articles about millennials’ love affair with Gucci. Being a wannabe millennial myself (I swear I was born in the wrong decade!), I can totally see why. I just read this article over on Fast Company about the company’s vision and culture. Now I’m even more impressed! I love how Gucci’s head honcho, Marco Bizzarri, works with his creative director in taking risks. Sure they’re over-the-top but that’s what makes them unique!
Here are some of my favorite excerpts:
“Gucci, you may have noticed, is blowing up.”
“In January 2015, Gucci appointed a new CEO, Marco Bizzarri, who had previously led Stella McCartney and Bottega Veneta. Bizzarri immediately brought on a new creative director, Alessandro Michele, who earned his design chops apprenticing under Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Venturini Fendi, and is known for his eccentric maximalist taste. In three short years, the pair have transformed Gucci into an exciting, modern brand that has won over the under-35 set–an achievement that recently earned the company a place on Fast Company’s list of the World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies in 2018.”
“Bizzarri approached the 96-year-old fashion house with a critical eye. When he joined the company, the brand’s enormous double G logo seemed like a status symbol of a bygone era; Gucci bags and belts languished in dark corners of people’s closets. ‘The company was really losing speed and was a little bit dusty,” Bizzarri says. “There was too much emphasis on heritage. I wanted to move the company to be more inclusive, more joyful, full of more energy.’”
“At luxury fashion houses, especially, there is a great deal of pressure to protect the brand’s image and heritage. Bizzarri’s message to his employees was to relax. “This creates a shift in people’s minds,” he explains. ‘If you don’t take the work too seriously, you can experiment with things that people are not expecting. On the other hand, by taking it too seriously, you tend to replicate things you have already done, trying to be safe rather than innovative.’”
“I wanted to have a company culture to be one where emotion and creativity were at the front and business followed,” Bizzarri says. “A place where creativity is foster by joy, by happiness. This is a perspective that I shared with Alessandro.”
“If people enter our shop, they enter our house and we need to be hosts to them,” Bizzarri says. “Changing people’s mentalities and behavior, that is the most difficult thing to do. The approach should be welcoming and smiling in a genuine way that is not forced, because this is the way to be inclusive in the end.”
“Our approach, both in terms of product and visual campaigns, is to do something that is unique,” he says. “The point is that if you are able to spontaneously and genuinely talk to millennials in a way that they can see really comes from the heart, you are talking their language.”
“These social media gambits are timely and speak directly to millennials, but Bizzarri wants to make sure that the driving force behind everything that Gucci does is about being authentic, creative, and inclusive, because this is what will allow the brand to stand the test of time.”
“This genuine passion is something that can keep us ahead of the competition,” Bizzarri says. “I’ve read many things about millennials these days saying they are not loyal and switch from one brand to the text. This may be true, but it doesn’t apply to us.”
Bizzarri is a genius!