Depth | Golden Goose Deluxe Brand’s story: How did “little dirty shoes” become a luxury myth?

cheap golden goose

Milan, Italy-A pair of worn-out sneakers that look undisguised can sell for 3,000 yuan, or even tens of thousands, in some people’s eyes, this is crazy, especially when it is Nike, Adidas and other giants and Valentino The field of double-faced sneakers is already a Red Sea. How can such expensive and niche shoes be sold? But the Golden Goose Deluxe Brand has opened up an alternative path by relying on high-priced “dirty sneakers”.

“Golden Goose Deluxe Brand is the first brand to upgrade sneakers from streetwear to luxury, changing the way the fashion industry thinks about such items,” said its chief executive Roberta Benaglia. The brand’s communications department has strict regulations, emphasizing that the first two words cannot be written, because the meaning of “Deluxe Brand” is very important-it is the essence of its success.

For consumers who love the cheap golden goose Deluxe Brand, their “dirty shoes” are not just high-priced versions of “Converse”, but each pair is a unique, hand-made luxury product. The purposely distressed sneakers are made of high-end Italian soft leather, which is given the texture and comfort through traditional craftsmanship, and then hand-washed, colored and waxed to bring about deliberate retro effects, and the previously popular “small “White shoes” are very different, but they have a cool feeling of no trimming. “It’s pretty dirty and high-end,” a sneaker enthusiast wrote on Tiger Forums. “I feel like a rock star who is rich and cool when I wear it.

And Sarah Rutson, former vice president of global procurement for Net-a-Porter, told Yahoo Style: “This special sneaker stands out from the small white shoes because of the unique vintage effect. Each pair is brushed and beaten by hand Wax to achieve a moderate wearing and wearing feel. In the past two seasons, we have seen too many brand new sparkling little white shoes, and this new way shows a new style that looks like your favorite An old pair of shoes, there is no way to not wear them. This makes everything look more stylish and precious, and of course comfortable. “

This brand that seems to be popular recently was actually established 17 years ago by a couple, Alessandro Gallo and Francesca Rinaldo, in Venice, Italy. Two designers without academic training built on their interest in streetwear and inspiration from travel. This is the prototype of the Golden Goose Deluxe Brand. What many people don’t know is that the brand has been a full-fledged brand since its inception. Today, shoes that contributed 75% of its performance were designed in 2007.

“Our goal in retail development is of course to provide end consumers with the Golden Goose Deluxe Brand lifestyle, so that end consumers can understand and appreciate our lifestyle proposals through all categories,” Roberta Benaglia told BoF: “In fact, “In our brand’s single retail store, other product categories will sell more than wholesalers.”

In order to strengthen the footwear category while highlighting its product structure including clothing, accessories and children’s shoes, Golden Goose Deluxe Brand chose to have a guest display at the recent Pitti Uomo men’s clothing exhibition in Florence. Benaglia said that they have been waiting for the best time for activities. “This year marks the tenth anniversary of the birth of our iconic sneakers. According to the concept of ‘Out of the Crowd’, we have organized a unique event, which is different from traditional fashion shows, but has a visual impact. Live performance, “she introduced. The scene of the show, accompanied by the sound of rumbling music, skateboarding teenagers wearing golden hoodies constantly shuttled in huge cement cylinders, a subculture picture of millennials, and the carefully arranged single product display and wearing on the scene The model of the space suit implied that it was an extraordinary luxury brand.

“At present, one of the reasons for our success may be that even though the brand is still undergoing huge expansion, it is still complex and mature. It is not a brand for everyone, but an exclusive brand for each special customer. “Benaglia said. In 2016, the brand’s revenue exceeded 100 million euros. In 2015, the brand’s revenue was 76 million euros, an increase of about 30%, and a similar growth rate is expected in 2017. “We believe that the concept of luxury today is changing in different ways, not its ‘expensiveness’ but its ‘exclusiveness,'” Benaglia said.
Compared to other traditional luxury brands that are worrying about how to capture young consumers, Benaglia tells BoF that she is more willing to describe the Golden Goose Deluxe Brand as a modern brand across generations. “Our modernity is welcomed by both mature and young consumers. It is suitable for millennials as well as mature consumers. Compared to other luxury brands, we maintain the value of classic classic luxury, such as timeless Value, the presence of iconic products (our sneakers), but at the same time mixing the concepts of luxury and street, “she said:” The new generation, especially the new generation in China, is more open, more accustomed to travel, and is affected by the global market The impact of trends. So they immediately understood that we are a real brand with real value: made in Venice and inspired by travelers. The Golden Goose Deluxe Brand is a brand from Venice, Italy to Venice, California, and our collections are often It’s a journey from this ‘coast’ to that ‘coast’. “

“And for previous generations, they did not immediately realize the positioning of retro style in the field of luxury. For us, retro is a value. For the classic timeless love and the spirit of not wasting, A real life experience behind vintage. Our sneakers change people’s perception of sportswear through exclusive handmade products, and enhance the value of the brand through research and innovation on luxury goods: we are a lifestyle Brand because we are a kind of existence, an emotion, a history of fashion finding its unique expression. Therefore, this new concept of luxury is easier to understand for the younger generation. “

As Benaglia said, due to its unique and clear positioning, coupled with the promotion of popular culture and the love of young people, the brand quickly opened the market. Currently, she believes that the brand is still in the process of growth. “In Europe, South Korea and Japan, we are in the consolidation phase, and the brand has been established in the market for a long time. In the United States, whether it is a wholesale business or a retail business, we are at a time of large-scale expansion. In the past two years, It has grown 100% in the last quarter. For us, China is a new market, “she said. Last year, it just opened two single-brand stores in Taikoo Li, Beijing and Hang Lung Plaza in Shanghai. “No doubt in China, we are in an exciting start-up phase.”

Although its brand has just launched in China, young Chinese consumers are no stranger to the Golden Goose Deluxe Brand. In early 2016, in the popular Korean drama “Descendants of the Sun”, the camera shot a close-up of the “dirty sneakers” of the male protagonist Song Zhongji. Since then, the actor has frequently worn the Golden Goose Deluxe Brand, plus the blessings of other Chinese and foreign stars. A star boom.
“Our brand has a precise positioning in the Korean luxury world. The brand has strong sales in South Korea and is popular among Korean stars and celebrities. Its influence has provided a strong impetus for the development of other Asian markets. The Japanese and Korean segmented high-end positioning strategy did help Golden Goose Deluxe Brand open the Chinese market, laying the foundation and the first customers for it, which allowed us to successfully open two stores here, “Benaglia said.

Unlike many brands, Golden Goose Deluxe Brand has always prioritized the Asian market. “We started with Japan and South Korea because they can influence and drive the growth of the Asia Pacific market. Considering that ‘travel’ is one of the basic values ​​of the brand, the influence from Asia, especially Japan, has always been a source of inspiration for the brand. From the beginning of the brand, we have recognized that Japan is the starting point for opening and developing the Asian market. The expansion in South Korea began five years ago. This is a young and dynamic market with the highest growth rate, which is currently only Third largest market after Italy and the United States. “

On the wholesale channel, Golden Goose Deluxe Brand has always emphasized continuity. Its wholesale partners have grown from 500 in 2012 to 750 today, mainly to cover areas it has not previously entered. “We attach great importance to maintaining a continuous and close relationship with wholesalers. We regard it more as a partner than a customer. This is consistent. Our success does not come from strong media promotion and advertising, but from The word-of-mouth marketing strategy of our wholesale partners has made us famous, and they are also happy about the brand ’s success, ”said Benaglia.“ In the luxury world, retail expansion has always been an important measure to create brand awareness and strengthen its values. To this day, our retail expansion has grown at the same pace as our wholesale business over the past five years. “

At the same time, Golden Goose Deluxe Brand also realized the importance of online channels early on. It has long-term close cooperation with luxury e-commerce providers such as Net-a-Porter, Farfetch, and Ssense, plus its own e-commerce platform and online business contribution. 20% of the total turnover. “But we believe that owning a physical store is still strategic anyway, because even if consumers are more accustomed to the digital world, they often use online tools to search and compare prices, but most of the time, consumers will not give up boutiques Experience, touch and wear products, especially for luxury brands, “Benaglia told.
Today, Benaglia is committed to linking consumers’ online and offline experiences. “The store is the best place for us to explain the brand story, value, and the meaning of the series,” she told BoF. “In this way, through travel, the same customer can buy different products in different stores in Seoul, Milan, Paris, New York, etc., enabling them to provide customers with different shopping experiences. . “Of course, building every store in this ‘customized approach’ requires relevant investment from the company, but we believe that such a strategy is essential for today’s luxury brands,” she said.

As it says, the investment behind the rapid roll-out of the sales network in recent years is inseparable. The Golden Goose Deluxe Brand has always been the capital because of its niche, uniqueness, and global expansion ambitions and potential. Eye-catching good asset. In the past four years, the brand has changed hands many times: In 2013, Italian private equity fund DGPA SGR first acquired 75% of its equity for 45 million euros; in 2015, this part of the equity was taken over by Belgon private equity firm Ergon Capital Partners; this month, Carlyle Group LP is rumored to be buying the brand for € 400 million, and sources have revealed that the deal will be announced at the end of March. The Carlyle Group has previously invested in several fashion brands, including Moncler, an Italian brand that specializes in down jackets, TwinSet Simona Barbieri, a Dutch underwear brand, Hunkemöller International BV, and Chinese brand Goris. It is reported that the Carlyle Group plans to help it expand its global retail sales. Channels to enhance the strength of e-commerce.

“Golden Goose Deluxe Brand is doing too well, so Ergon Capital Partners’s expectation is that the investment cycle may be shortened in order to obtain a return on investment in a short period of time,” said Roberta Benaglia, a private equity fund that holds minority shares in the brand The CEO of Style Capital, she did not specifically comment on whether the Carlyle Group’s transaction and private equity that value short-term returns can really do a luxury brand that requires far-reaching planning, but she said: Ergon Capital Partners has always been a smart Investors, because it took over the company from a management and organizational perspective, and maintained its continuity. There have been no changes in the company. The management team remains the same. The founder and wife are still in charge of the design and creative business. “It was this team that went from a turnover of 20 million euros in 2012 to 100 million euros today,” she said.

“Today, the market sees us as the leading brand of luxury street style, because not only in this category, but also in the shoe market, we have shaped the brand’s” leisureness “, which has become a symbol of leisure elegance and leisure luxury.” Benaglia said: “Maybe there are some luxury brands today that are overexposed in communications and retail. The risk is to become an overpriced daily necessities. Golden Goose Deluxe Brand is restrained and never overexposed. In terms of sales channels, Very picky. That’s what luxury means to us today. “