Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Kenzo? A great failure ...
A few days back came the announcement of the appointment of a new CEO to run Kenzo, the fashion house owned by the LVMH Group, which for years has continued relentlessly to be a brand without profits, a terrible thorn in the side of stubborn Monsieur Bernard Arnault, a lover of challenges and LVMH’s owner.
In fact ever since Kenzo Takada, Kenzo’s founder and designer, left the firm, the brand has never managed to take off. Recently Monsieur Arnault was almost ready to chuck in the towel and sell off the maison. But then he changed his mind and decided to continue with a new manager and further injections of capital.
So why has it never been able to make a profit, despite the huge sums of money flowing into its coffers? Despite a complex redesign of all the boutiques? Despite spending millions on marketing and advertising campaigns? Despite organizing mega fashion shows? Despite changing Manager after Manager? ... Why?
Simple ... because they never hired a Dries Van Noten!
Now the creative director has the worst stylist they could ever take a gamble on. But the best at copying ideas, garments and concepts from others and then presenting them in the worst possible way. The best at opening the archives and not knowing what to look for. The best at picking up all the clothes at flea markets and then dismantling and reassembling them in different materials and putting them back on the market. The best at doing fashion shows that are pseudo-performances with nothing to do with fashion, and instead of producing a vision of style offers a collection of theater costumes for deadbeats. The best to make you breathe dust, obsolete. In a word old ... nothing.
Fashion no longer needs this kind of bluffing, Monsieuur Arnault. Time’s up. Fashion needs creatives and creativity, the real McCoy.
Dear Bernard, don’t be stubborn and keep changing managers all the time because the situation will never get better. Start looking for a new and talented stylist and I assure you that Mr. Profit will definitely return!