“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.
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Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews