Confident Kering chief says no to insta-fashion model at reborn Gucci

We may still be in the middle of the runway schedule for autumn/winter 2016, but developments we’ve seen so far around a move towards see-it-now, buy-it-now fashion suggest the spring/summer 2017 shows will be an interesting affair.

Not for Kering though. Luxury giant Kering has become the first major luxury conglomerate to publicly reject the trend for insta-fashion that has been a key talking point during Fashion Month.

Its CEO Francois-Henri Pinault told Bloomberg that the company’s star luxury label Gucci in particular will be sticking to a more traditional approach, under its creative chief Alessandro Michele.

Pinault said the buy-now approach “negates the dream” of luxury product and that waiting several months for the key items to drop in-store “creates desire”.

Referring to Burberry’s well-publicised move to a close-to-season model as of September, Pinault added: “There are some brands for which a runway show is a communications event… What we will decide will be what suits our brands and our vision of luxury.”

The decision not to follow certain luxury peers comes after Gucci saw an improvement in its sales over the past few months. Having moved from a markdown-driven business as it worked to shift the product created under Frida Giannini’s control, it didn’t mark down any product last season as the Michele-designed product proved a major success at retail.

Pinault also said he doesn’t think the Burberry model will become a universal one as it’s just not practical for some brands, including those where the womenswear and menswear are created by different design chiefs.

It’s an interesting move, as one fashion insider commented earlier: “A lot of the Kering designers show in Paris and Milan, which have no real tech scene. In London and New York, those fashion cities are very much ahead on that score, so that’s another reason why this classic (some would say archaic) model of seeing clothes on the runway and not being able to buy then for six months, can remain as it has in Paris and Milan.”

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