As Krystle Craycraft, the chief marketing officer of the online fashion assistant ModeSens, put it, "Gucci has made a fabulous comeback, and they are maintaining it, which is kind of amazing."
The resurgence for the 98-year-old company arguably began in 2015, when its newly named CEO, Marco Bizzarri, hired Alessandro Michele as creative director. Its rise in popularity continued through 2018, when the company saw huge growth in online sales. Google's Year in Search report listed Gucci as No. 5 on a list of most searched fashion brands. In addition, previous Business Insider reporting showcased Gucci as one of the McKinsey Global Fashion Index's 20 major companies leading the global fashion industry.
Today, Gucci remains one of the hottest fashion brands in the world. Alongside the creative genius of Michele, credit for its popularity goes to millennials and celebrity promotion, along with the revival of '90s logo trends. Ruth La Ferla, who described logo-mania in her November New York Times piece "What Gives the Logo Its Legs," acknowledged Gucci as one of many brands contributing to the trend.
Craycraft said Gucci remained one of her company's most in-demand brands.
When asked about today's status symbol, she confidently answered with one of the brand's leading accessories: "We have been selling a lot of Gucci belts. It's always changing, but a lot of Gucci belts. People really love them, it's Gucci-mania still ... because it's an affordable piece, and logo-mania has been a trend over the past couple of years."
Gucci belts retail on the company's site beginning at $350 (R4,860) but can sell for upward of $1,000 (about R13,890). Customers can also turn to sites such as Craycraft's ModeSens, along with the competitors Lyst and ShopStyle, all of which catalog locations in which belts may be available for lower prices.
"In terms of our consumer base, the majority of our consumers are high-end shoppers," Craycraft said, "but we do still have a contingent that are just buying that one piece or a couple pieces that they really just have to have, and Gucci belts seem to be the ticket for everyone, across all segments."
Alongside belts, the Gucci designs include logo T-shirts, sweatshirts, and bags. Bags range from classic purses with the brand's traditional dark green and red stripe to more trendy, boundary-pushing styles that use bright colors and velvet, something Business Insider's Jessica Tyler observed after visiting a New York store.
"I think that while Gucci has some pieces that are out there," Craycraft said, "they also have their timeless, classic bags - and even new styles that still feel timeless. Customers are gravitating towards those styles since they know if they invest in them, they will have those pieces for many years to come."
Despite its comeback, the brand has recently made headlines for one of the latest scandals in the fashion world. On February 6, Gucci issued an apology following the release of a $900 (R12,500) wool balaclava sweater that people said resembled blackface. The company removed the sweater from both in-store and online sales. Prada faced similar controversy in December for a charm that people said resembled blackface imagery.
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