About a year ago, I was invited by Robert Polet, CEO of Gucci Group, to talk to his CEO's at a conference at the Villa d’Este in Lake Como (the Villa d’Este is a Lovemark. Give it a go.)
An inspirational leader, Robert has freed his Creative Directors to lead the development of their brands, and to drive the business side of life, he has also partnered them with CEOs. We practice exactly the same philosophy at Saatchi, teaming CEO and Creative Director at the top (e.g. Bob Isherwood and I) throughout all our offices. I believe it’s a great and defining system.
Robert’s new approach will be put to the test this year on lead brand Gucci. Frida Giannini has just taken over as the new Head of Design. She’s dumping the G-spot made famous by Tom Ford, and taking Gucci back to its Italian roots. While Tom Ford trailed us into the nightclubs of New York and L.A., Frida and her CEO partner, Mark Lee, are taking Gucci back to the streets of Rome and onto the beaches of Capri. They are going for humor, eccentricity, irony and nonchalance. So it’s good-bye Paris Hilton and welcome back Sophia Loren. Which reminds me, I just bought an iconic image of Sophia Loren in her prime wearing a very tight corset. It is by NY artist Daniel Dens. Emblazoned over the full length image are the immortal words, “Everything you see I owe to spaghetti".
So Giannini is taking Gucci from sexy back to sensual. I can’t wait to see the new range which will be full of flowers, colored stripes, stars and fishes. Joyful and lots of fun.
Gucci is amongst the top 5 most valuable luxury brands in the world, and the most valuable Italian luxury brand. The Wall Street Journal recently named Giannini as one of its 50 Women to Watch. You can count on the fact that men everywhere in the world will be doing just that.