MILAN — Marni is turning 20 this year and is planning a number of events to mark the anniversary, leveraging a more managerial structure — a strategy put in place since the sale of a majority stake to Renzo Rosso’s OTB in December 2012 — improved merchandising and timely deliveries.
Through these initiatives, chief executive officer Gianni Castiglioni told WWD during the men’s presentation in Milan that he plans to double company sales in three years. In 2013, revenues totaled 130 million euros, or $171.6 million at average exchange, in line with the previous year, since the company was “impacted by the negative exchange of the Japanese yen, balanced, however, by the expansion of the men’s and accessories categories,” in addition to Marni’s core women’s ready-to-wear, which accounts for 72 percent of sales.
General manager Andrea Baldo, who joined the Italian brand in March, said it was “fundamental to understand the market and respond to its needs with timely deliveries,” including those of a more structured pre-collection.
Creative director Consuelo Castiglioni is also evolving the brand’s store concept, conceived in 2000. The first blueprint will open on London’s Sloane Street in the second half. “We are taking a step forward, so that we can become more performing and more efficacious, less rigid and more flexible,” said Baldo. Separate zones will differentiate categories, with an added focus on shoes, bags and costume jewelry, for an easier and more functional purchase. Accessories account for 25 percent of sales. Castiglioni was pleased with the success of Marni’s structured shoulder bag, Trunk.
“Marni has been innovating a lot, but it hasn’t communicated it enough, and we want to give more value to certain categories,” said Castiglioni, adding that the company will introduce its first ad campaign at the end of the year.
Also ahead, the opening of stores in Chengdu in China and San Francisco. Next year, a showroom will be opened 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