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Week in Review | Stefano Sassi, Sweaty Betty, Virginie Mouzat, ‘Daigou’ Agents

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BoF editor-in-chief Imran Amed recaps the week in the business of fashion.

Stefano Sassi, CEO of Valentino | Source: Courtesy

LONDON, United Kingdom — Another whirlwind week in the business of fashion is done.

This week, we sat down with the man who, over the last seven and a half years, has steered one of most interesting businesses on the fashion landscape today. But it hasn’t been an easy ride. Indeed, watching major private-equity firm Permira make an investment in Valentino in 2007, at the height of a market bubble that was soon to burst and just before Valentino Garavani and his business partner Giancarlo Giammetti stepped down from the house they had built, was like watching a train crash in slow motion, or as Stefano Sassi, the company’s chief executive, told me, a “perfect storm.”

But oh how he managed to navigate the stormy environment. Now, with designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli at the creative helm, Valentino has got its cool back and, in a stagnating luxury market, has been growing revenue at 25 percent annually. Speaking to Mr Sassi to learn about the strategic thinking and work that went into this turnaround was fascinating. I hope it will be equally interesting for you.

Have a great weekend, and enjoy our top stories from the week gone by:

CEO Talk | Stefano Sassi, Chief Executive Officer, Valentino
In his latest CEO Talk, Imran Amed sits down with Stefano Sassi, chief executive officer of Valentino, to discuss the brand’s remarkable revitalisation and return to the forefront of fashion.

Tamara Hill-Norton of Sweaty Betty on Seizing the Opportunity in Activewear
In the latest instalment of Founder Stories, BoF speaks with Tamara Hill-Norton of Sweaty Betty, one of the first companies to see and seize the opportunity in activewear.

The Creative Class | Virginie Mouzat, Fashion Editor
The former fashion critic at Le Figaro and current editor-in-chief of fashion, lifestyle and opinions at the French edition of Vanity Fair sits down with BoF to discuss her personal and professional journey.

Colin’s Column | Jean Paul Gaultier, Fashion Incarnate
As “The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk” arrives in London, Colin McDowell reflects on the life and work of French fashion’s enfant terrible.

Op-Ed | Watch Out for the Millennials
More than previous generations, millennnials want social responsibility and transparency from the brands they buy. Fashion companies that fail to change risk losing relevance, argue Maxine Bédat and Soraya Darabi.

‘Daigou’ Agents Help Chinese Get Luxury Goods for Less
A growing number of Chinese are turning to “selling agents” to circumvent import duties and get their hands on authentic luxury goods at lower prices.

The Artful Rejina Pyo
Seoul-born designer Rejina Pyo combines graphic inspirations with an elegant, subtle femininity. Her deceptively simple, contemporary-priced pieces have struck a chord with influential retailers.

Op-Ed | Violence Is Not Pretty, But It Can Hide Behind a Pretty Face
Italian Vogue’s domestic violence-themed cover story proves that fashion photography is a powerful medium, but it should have been stripped of its commercial credits, argues Mimma Viglezio.

And don’t forget, check out BoF Weekly, a week in review published with Flipboard and updated every Saturday.


Imran Amed
Founder and Editor-in-Chief

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