MILAN — Rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine and growing pressure from the international community against Russia’s annexation of Crimea are not stopping Gucci from directly entering the Russian retail market.
The luxury fashion group also has plans to open two wholly owned stores in Moscow in the second half of the year. One unit will be located in the Gum department store, while the other, a four-level flagship, will be in upscale shopping hub Petrovka Street.
“The decision to assume direct control of our retail network and operations in Russia is wholly consistent with our ongoing strategy to further enhance the consistency of our customers’ experience across different markets through progressively taking control of stores that have historically been operated by franchisees and wholesalers,” said Patrizio di Marco, president and chief executive officer of Gucci. He underscored how this strategy has been successful in the U.S., the Gulf area and India, before Russia.
Asked to address the current uncertainty surrounding Russia, a Gucci spokesman said, “This is a long-term view and we have been working on this direction for years,” reiterating di Marco’s view on the group’s consistency of direct distribution in markets around the world.
The brand opened its first Russian store in 1997 and currently counts a total of six units in the market, including monobrand boutiques and corners in luxury villages and malls. Gucci has now taken over direct control of the retail network and operations for its three existing stores in the Moscow area — Tsum, Kutuzovskiy Prospekt and Barvikha Luxury Village. However, the relationship with its local partners continues for its three stores outside Moscow, in St. Petersburg, Sochi and Ekaterinburg. As per Gucci’s strategy, the company will focus on progressively taking control of the most relevant stores, while maintaining a limited number of monobrand franchised stores and doors in select multibrand retailers.
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia