Michele Sofisti on Gucci's Watches & More
In an exclusive chat with Michele Sofisti, Branch Director - Luxury Goods International SA, Cortaillod Branch, Gucci, Time 'n Style finds out what makes Gucci the brand it is, today. Tell us about the Bamboo watch, this year's Basel launch.
Tell us about the Bamboo watch, this year's Basel launch.
That's the highlight for the year and it's a very special watch. That's because it is iconic of Gucci. Bamboo has been utilised by Gucci in all product categories and there is a lot of handwork linked to the production of the watch. So we had an artisan corner this year at the booth where we showcased how the watch was made. To use bamboo, you need fire; so each watch is different and each watch is a unique piece.
Your fashion line is made out of Italy and your watches are Swiss made. How does the House draw a balance between the two?
We have the same DNA. Gucci is an authentic, Italian brand. So for watches, to be authentic, you need to do them in Switzerland. To keep the authenticity intact, our watches are Swiss made.
What are trends of 2012?
There's usage of different materials and there's a huge evolution in materials being used in the market today. In terms of sizes, you see both big and slim watches.
How do you synchronise the watch collection with the fashion items of Gucci?
The Creative Director of the Gucci brand is Frida Giannina and she's in-charge of all the products. So she gives us inputs and details about what to be done with a collection.
What's your take on the Asian market?
The brand Gucci is very strong in China. But in the watch category, we are still growing. We have shop-in-shop presence.
Gucci has entered twice in India. What are your strategies for the Indian market to re-establish yourself?
India is not an easy market. There's a huge duty at the entry level. There's a situation where commercial work in India is a little more difficult. What we need is a good distributor. Also, India is very large and diverse from one region to the other. And one distributor might not be enough. You need a lot of distributors and good price points.
What does Gucci mean to you?
It represents Italianity. Gucci is an authentic brand with a lot of values and with 90 years of history. It's something very strong.
Define a Gucci end-consumer.
A Gucci buyer is someone who likes the brand. When you choose Gucci, you choose an Italian brand with a certain style and quality; for our watches, we've seen that the buyer is passionate about Gucci and a watch is the first buy into the Gucci world; or it could also be someone who has nothing to do with Gucci, but likes our designs and the watches bring the person into the Gucci world.
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