When managing a haute couture brand, and in no small part, many managerial and financial aspects count. But for the founders, the priority is the product: for its role, for the fascination it evokes, and for its evolution. Diego Della Valle, Brunello Cucinelli and Giorgio Armani, guests at Milan Fashion Global Summit 2021, all expressed their thoughts on the product. According to Tod’s owner, luxury brands must implement strategies that preserve their desirability and exclusivity. “I am fascinated by the product and not by finance,” added Cucinelli, who spoke of a healthy Italian supply chain. Finally, Giorgio Armani believes in the “osmosis of fashion, with a desire to unify beauty throughout the world”.
The priority is the product
Although he did not offer any percentages or figures, Della Valle said he was “satisfied and happy” with his group’s performance. According to the entrepreneur: “There is a desire to grow in Asia, and in China in particular, but also to reopen the focus on less performing and historical markets”. According to him, young consumers “are bringing us an incredible recovery”. Regarding the performance of the luxury segment, Della Valle warns: the growth of a brand must not take place “at the expense of product exclusivity and desirability”. Consequently, we must be “careful not to give too much visibility to the product”.
What Cucinelli says about the supply chain
“The supply chain is healthy and that’s the best thing about it,” is Cucinelli’s opinion. “Italy is the first country in the world for quality manufacturing, even if we have lost the lower end of the market”. According to the entrepreneur, Italy is “experiencing a wonderful moment. It is back to being credible, and you will see that foreign investors will come to our country”. As for his company, he said: “We have the same structures as two years ago, the same investments, we are missing something in terms of marginality, but it will come back”. Responding to a financial question, Cucinelli said: “I am fascinated by the product, not the finance”.
The future according to Armani
Armani, speaking from Dubai, was less optimistic than Cucinelli: “It’s hard to think about the future”. In an interview to WWD, Armani reiterated the concepts also expressed by Della Valle: “There is this exasperated need to be present all over the world. Brands that want to demonstrate their power. But this can be demonstrated in different ways, with a good product that is wearable, not necessarily designed to make a sensation and quickly forgotten. We really need to slow down and I don’t think much has changed since the pandemic”.