“I attribute this to a combination of our type of product, an extraordinary creative director [Tomas Maier], which eases my work, and strategic choices in line with the brand,” Bottega Veneta president and chief executive officer Marco Bizzarri told WWD before the brand’s fall women’s show Saturday. “We have been consistently focused on uncompromising strategies, and we took no shortcuts to pump up our sales.”
He noted that gains across all markets in the first half continued on an upward trajectory in the second half, which showed a growth of 33.9 percent to 515.5 million euros, or $654.7 million.
Last year, the company opened 26 stores for a total of 196 and Bizzarri said 2013 will see “the same kind of investments.” The executive underscored that Bottega Veneta is not following “megatrends,” rushing to open units in emerging markets, for example, but is aiming at maintaining an “equivalent growth rate.”
Touting a more balanced expansion, he said Europe and Italy remain “strategic” for the brand. Bizzarri disclosed that Bottega Veneta’s biggest boutique is to open in Milan’s golden shopping triangle, covering 7,560 square feet of selling space. He declined to provide the exact address, but said that there are no plans to close the existing smaller venue on Via Montenapoleone. “We will have a double exposure in the city and the new store will be a maison, with a complete offer of our products for men and women. That said, our strategy hasn’t changed, we are happy with smaller units, too, and we are not suddenly looking for huge spaces for the brand,” Bizzarri stressed.
At the end of April, the company will open a store in Los Angeles with a new design by Maier. “We would like to create different shopping experiences that reflect the culture of each city,” said Bizzarri, adding that he did not know if the store concept would be replicated elsewhere.
The retail division accounts for 80 percent of total revenues.
Bizzarri said he was “very confident about 2013 — for what I can control — just as I was in 2012. All the elements that characterize the brand, products and communication are in line and allow a competitive advantage.”
Maier’s collections for the brand have been garnering positive reactions from retailers and customers and, while leather goods continues to be the brand’s core business, accounting for 85 percent of sales, apparel is growing at the same pace “in absolute value. Ready-to-wear is fundamental,” said Bizzarri.
Bottega Veneta is controlled by French luxury-to-lifestyle conglomerate PPR. Asked to comment on ongoing speculation that he may be headed to Gucci or some other position within PPR, Bizzarri admitted that the rumor had reached him, but said that it remains a rumor. “I know nothing of any change, and I don’t think it’s true. It’s just gossip,” he said.
“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