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Michele Sofisti on Gucci's Watches & More

  By AINDRILA MITRA, TIME N STYLE   Jul 19th 2012 at 12:00PM Watches RATED

Michele Sofisti

 

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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.

Aindrila Mitra, Time n Style

Tell us about the Bamboo watch, this year's Basel launch.

Michele Sofisti

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.

Aindrila Mitra, Time n Style

Your fashion line is made out of Italy and your watches are Swiss made. How does the House draw a balance between the two?

Michele Sofisti

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.

Aindrila Mitra, Time n Style

What are trends of 2012?

Michele Sofisti

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.

Aindrila Mitra, Time n Style

How do you synchronise the watch collection with the fashion items of Gucci?

Michele Sofisti

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.

Aindrila Mitra, Time n Style

What's your take on the Asian market?

Michele Sofisti

The brand Gucci is very strong in China. But in the watch category, we are still growing. We have shop-in-shop presence.

Aindrila Mitra, Time n Style

Gucci has entered twice in India. What are your strategies for the Indian market to re-establish yourself?

Michele Sofisti

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.

Aindrila Mitra, Time n Style

What does Gucci mean to you?

Michele Sofisti

It represents Italianity. Gucci is an authentic brand with a lot of values and with 90 years of history. It's something very strong.

Aindrila Mitra, Time n Style

Define a Gucci end-consumer.

Michele Sofisti

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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