MILAN — Despite the rocky economy, Gucci is staying the course, casting a wider net and approaching emerging markets with significant potential.
In line with its global retail push, the luxury goods house has opened its first store in Budapest, Hungary. Mark Lee, president and CEO of Gucci, pointed to Hungary as “one of the most dynamic Eastern European markets for the luxury industry.”
Gucci has chosen a Neo-Renaissance, 19th century building on prestigious Andrássy Avenue to house the boutique. Monumental arches and a historical 1882 fountain blend with Gucci’s more contemporary store design. Gold and silver shades are framed by natural light and glowing wall panels, and Gucci’s staple light rosewood and mohair velvet upholstering contrasts with darker travertine elements.
The boutique covers almost 3,800 square feet on one level and is directly owned and operated by Gucci. It carries the brand’s men’s and women’s collections of ready-to-wear, handbags, shoes, watches, sunglasses, jewelry, small leather goods and gifts.
According to Lee, one of Gucci’s “most valuable assets is the ability to balance its leadership and exclusivity between historical and new markets, while staying relevant to different customers all over the world.” Retail accounts for around 70 percent of Gucci’s business.
Earlier this year, Gucci opened in cities as diverse as Prague, Macau, Cape Town and Auckland, New Zealand. At the same time, the company also focused on such an established market as the U.S., with the opening in February of its new three-level, 46,000-square-foot Fifth Avenue store in New York.
“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
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast