There was an energy at Polimoda on February 13th unlike any other Monday. Staff, students and faculty were waiting quietly in anticipation in the Aula Magna, and press were entering to find the few remaining seats left. On this day, Gucci President and CEO Mr Marco Bizzarri, alongside his esteemed colleagues came to give a guest lecture at the Institute.
The focus of the day was how Gucci plans to maintain their incredible success. Indeed in the last two years, Gucci has completely transformed, thanks to Mr Bizzarri and the changes he has made within the company, from the ground up. “It’s not just a matter of aesthetics. It’s about the cultural values.”
“The world is changing. The people who are working in fashion are more normal. Their feet are on the ground.” Bizzarri told the story of when he and the now Creative Director first met, when Alessandro Michele invited Bizzarri to his apartment. With his particular personal taste, Bizzarri explained how Michele is actually a very normal and unassuming person, despite a certain pair of fur-lined shoes he made for himself and was wearing at this meeting; the same shoes that have since become one of Gucci’s most successful products. “We need to stay away from the creative director who feels like they’re blessed by God.”
Mr Bizzarri explained that change is key, and maintaining this change will be essential to Gucci’s future. “Change is the word that will be with you forever […] Change is the fil-rouge of Gucci much more than craftsmanship and quality.” Diversity in his team is another key to sustaining the company’s growth. “The diversity creates energy.” And this attitude is paying off, with the most recent report of Gucci’s 21% growth in the last quarter of 2016, way above industry trends.
Many people ask me, which is the formula. The beauty of it: there is no formula.
So unfortunately there isn’t one road to success, but Mr Bizzarri did mention some simple tips for students and industry insiders alike:
It’s not common for somebody who holds such a high-level position to come to a school, however, Mr Bizzarri is anything but normal. Incredibly experienced yet approachable, Bizzarri’s presentation was more conversational than didactic; it was an opportunity to learn rather than to be told. Polimoda thanks Mr Marco Bizzarri and all the team from Gucci. What an inspiration!