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16 Jan

EXCLUSIVE: Marco Bizzarri Is Staying Put at Gucci

Squelching persistent speculation of a management change at Gucci, François-Henri Pinault told WWD that Gucci’s longtime chief executive officer Marco Bizzarri would stay in place and lead the brand within the post-Alessandro Michele period.

Speaking on the sidelines of Gucci’s fall 2023 men’s fashion show in Milan on Friday, Kering’s chairman and chief executive officer was emphatic that Bizzarri “has my full trust. He already had.”

“It’s so obvious that Marco is the CEO for this next chapter of Gucci needless to say,” he said, smiling broadly as he spoke to WWD. “I want him to construct that with me and I’m fully confident that we’ll succeed on that.”

His remarks should further calm investor concern about further turbulence at Kering’s largest brand and its biggest profit driver.

The Bizzarri-Michele dream team helped triple the dimensions of Gucci since 2015 to succeed in sales last yr of 9.73 billion euros.

Michele suddenly exited his role as creative director of Gucci last November amid disagreement over the long run of the brand, which Michele had energized with gender-fluid, retro-tinged glamour.

After Michele’s appointment in 2015, Gucci posted growth exceeding 35 percent for five consecutive quarters by the primary quarter of 2018, prompting Bizzarri to set a ten billion euro revenue goal for the brand in June that yr.

However the momentum recently stalled, and it is known Bizzarri and Pinault had urged Michele to initiate a powerful design shift, a quicker pace of collections, and an extra elevation of the brand toward a real luxury positioning.

Michele’s successor has yet to be named, and the boys’s collection shown Friday was credited to the design studio, which riffed on various brand codes with a soupçon of sailor and rock-star styling.

In a recent research note, Erwan Rambourg, global head of consumer and retail research at HSBC, said Gucci is more likely to do higher in 2023, with the worst behind it.

It forecasts a 12.5 percent dip in fourth-quarter revenues when the numbers come out on Feb. 15.

“The brand has lost market share following what, in hindsight, was likely a strategic mistake: cutting costs within the spring of 2020 while most peers were doubling down on spending. Individually, we imagine the brand’s expression became a bit narrow which made it particularly vulnerable in mainland China, where the group has strengthened management recently,” the HSBC report said. “A renewed merchandising team must also ensure a more industrial approach.…The commitment to spend more by way of promoting, combined with a stronger team in mainland China in addition to in merchandising should help the brand converge towards peers’ sales growth no matter the very fact it’ll be in a transition period.”

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