Gucci CEO departs as brand lags behind: Here’s how the top luxury fashion brands are doing

Fashion

Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri, who led the company out of a slump after Tom Ford’s resignation in 2004, will leave his role this September, amid a management shake-up that saw the hiring of a new creative director earlier this year and now the promotion of two other executives as deputy CEOs of parent company Kering.
"Don't Worry Darling" Red Carpet - 79th Venice International Film Festival

Marco Bizzarri attends the “Don’t Worry Darling” red carpet at the 79th Venice International Film Festival on September 5, 2022 in Venice, Italy. Photo by Pascal Le Segretain

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Key Takeaways
  • Called “one of the most respected executives in the global luxury business” by the New York Times, Bizzari’s stepping down comes after a year of reportedly declining sales and the replacement of creative director Alessandro Michele, who left after eight years, with Sabato De Sarno, who previously worked for Dolce & Gabbana, Prada and Valentino.
  • The leadership change was one of many announced by Kering this week, the Wall Street Journal reported— CEO of Yves Saint Laurent Francesca Bellettini and parent company CEO Jean-Marc Duplaix will now serve as deputies to Kering chief executive François-Henri Pinault, and Kering managing director Jean-François Palus will take the reins of Gucci in Milan for the time being.
  • Gucci’s sales have lagged behind competitors like Louis Vuitton and Dior in the last year, per WSJ, both of which are owned by Bernard Arnault‘s LVMH.
  • The Kering empire—ranked No. 328 on Forbes’ Global 2000 with a roughly $74 billion market value—also owns the brands Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Alexander McQueen, Yves Saint Laurent, Puma and Cobra.
How 5 Of The Top Luxury Fashion Brands Are Doing
Hermès

Hermès reported $12.9 billion (€11.6 billion) of revenue in 2022, up 23% from 2021. Growth in the Americas was “exceptional,” the brand’s financial report said, following the opening of new stores in Austin and on Madison Avenue in New York, which has an entire floor dedicated to repairs. Hermès does not have a celebrity brand ambassador and instead relies on the exclusivity of its clients and hero products, like the Birkin bag, to generate revenue.

Fashion Photo Session In Paris - April 2023

Heart Evangelista wears a white shiny leather with white latte and orange embossed pattern mini Birkin Faubourg from Hermes, designed to look like the front of a Hermès boutique, on April 19, 2023 in Paris, France. Photo by Edward Berthelot

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Prada

The Italian fashion brand, which also owns Miu Miu, saw revenues rise 21% in 2022 to $4.4 billion (€4.2 billion). Retail sales were up 24%, the company reported, with the Asia Pacific market pegged as its most profitable. Sales also rose 59% in Europe and 37% in the Americas. The brand welcomed a new CEO, Andrea Guerra, in January, taking the place of Patrizio Bertelli and Miuccia Prada. Actresses Letitia Wright and Scarlett Johansson, as well as model Hunter Schafer, are among Prada’s brand ambassadors.

Christmas Atmosphere In Italy

Iconic Prada’ handbags and shoes dedicated to the Christmas are on display at the Prada store on Rome’s famous shopping street Via Condotti on December 3, 2022 in Rome, Italy. Photo by Franco Origlia

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Louis Vuitton

Revenue for Louis Vuitton surpassed $22.4 billion (€20 billion) for the first time in 2022 and while parent company LVMH—Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton—did not report brand-specific revenues, it did say the parent company’s Fashion & Leather Goods sector experienced organic revenue growth of 20%. Louis Vuitton’s success was credited in financial documents to the opening of two new workshops in France, several new stores and the 20th anniversary collection of Tambour watches, a line called Tambour Twenty, modeled by Bradley Cooper. Zendaya and Big Time Rush musician J-Hope were named as brand ambassadors this year. A representative for LVMH did not respond to a request for specific brand data for Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co. or Dior.

Louis Vuitton : Runway - Paris Fashion Week - Womenswear Spring/Summer 2023

HoYeon Jung and models walk the runway during the Louis Vuitton Womenswear Spring/Summer 2023 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on October 4, 2022 in Paris, France. Photo by Peter White

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Chanel

French fashion house Chanel reported revenues of $17.2 billion in 2022, up 17% over 2021. Chanel this month launched a three-year curatorial sponsorship at the Hong Kong contemporary art museum M+ and opened a 30,000-square-food boutique in Beverly Hills. Chanel is represented by a number of high-profile brand ambassadors, including actor Timothée Chalamet, actress Whitney Peak and K-pop star Minji.

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A woman walks past a closed Chanel shop in Moscow on March 10, 2022.

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Gucci

The brand reported a 2022 revenue of $11.7 billion (€10.5 billion), up 8% from its 2021 report, a year that included the premiere of the House of Gucci film and pop-up collaborations with brands like The North Face. So far this year, Gucci’s moves have included an exhibit titled Gucci Cosmos, which ran for three months in Shanghai and the launching of Gucci Salon, a VIP shopping concept open to high-end clients by appointment only. Harry Styles, Dakota Johnson, Indian actress Alia Bhatt and Hanni of the K-pop group NewJeans are brand ambassadors.

Gucci - Runway - Milan Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2023/24

A model walks the runway at the Gucci fashion show during Milan Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2023/24 on January 13, 2023 in Milan, Italy. Photo by Victor Virgile

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Forbes Valuation

Bernard Arnault, who oversees LVMH’s empire of 75 fashion and cosmetics brands, is currently the second-richest person on Earth. Forbes estimates his net worth to be $235 billion. François Pinault, owner and honorary chairman of Kering, is worth an estimated $40.3 billion.

This article was first published on forbes.com and all figures are in USD.

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