Part of a major international restructuring strategy, Italian maison Dolce Gabbana is set to stop the production and distribution of its D&G line starting with the Spring Summer 2012 season. Already, several distributors have received notifications and already ceased buying the line. The younger, diffusion line which had been brought back in-house from licensee IT Holding Itiierre (now in bankruptcy proceedure) has reached an yearly turnover exceeding 700 million euros, however, the crisis seems to have taken a toll. The first signs of trouble for the second line were signalled with the closing of 15 D&G stores in Japan early last year. The company is set to integrate the younger D&G collections as capsules in its flagship stores.
CPP‘s Oliver Petcu welcomes the move and considers it the first positive strategic decision of the Italian duo to revive the company and to bring it closer to the upper luxury labels such as Prada, Vuitton or Gucci. This will provide the company the opportunity to galvanize its efforts in positioning the Dolce Gabbana label as a top luxury one.
For long, the brand benefited from its young, daring and flamboyant sexy looks which made the due famous, yet the financial crisis of the past 3 years has highlighted the strength of the brands which rely on timeless design and top quality craftsmanship. The D&G which used to be distributed separately by IT Ittierre for more than 10 years reached an alarming level of international presence, the brand being available in multibrand shops in mass market galleries and shopping centres, no matter the city or country. The same ”fate” marked other Ittierre licensed brands such as GF Ferre, Just Cavalli and Versace Jeans Couture, which are now extinct.
There was also the creative direction challenge as the two designers / founders had to joggle with two lines which have become very similar, on many product categories the only difference being the pricing structure. In the past 2 years, the company opened stand alone D&G stores and made an efffort to return to ”Made In Italy” for most of the D&G collections, however, this translated into higher prices and lower margins.
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