“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.
@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