How to “Granden Goose” Golden Goose counterattacks into a luxury myth

A pair of worn-out sneakers that seem unconcealed can be sold for 3,000 yuan or even tens of thousands. In some people’s eyes, this is crazy, especially when they are double-sided by Nike, Adidas and other brands such as Valentino. The field of sneakers is already a Red Sea. How can such a high-priced and small-shoes be sold? But Golden Goose Deluxe Brand has opened up an alternative path in the high-priced “dirty shoes.”

“Golden Goose Deluxe Brand is the first brand to upgrade sneakers from streetwear to luxury, changing the way the fashion industry views these items,” said CEO Roberta Benaglia. The brand’s communications department has strict rules, emphasizing that you can’t just write the first two words, because the meaning of “Deluxe Brand” is crucial – it is the essence of its success.

For consumers who love Golden Goose Deluxe Brand, their “small dirty shoes” is not just a high-priced version of “Converse”, but each pair is a unique, hand-made luxury product. The deliberately worn sneakers are made of Italian high-end soft leather, which is given the texture and comfort through traditional craftsmanship, and then hand-washed, colored and waxed to bring the deliberate retro effect, and the previous hot “small” White shoes are very different, but there is a cool feeling of not trimming. “The dirty looks very good, and it has a high sense of ruin,” a shoe lover wrote in the Tigers Forum: “I feel like I am a rich and cool rock star.”

Sarah Rutson, former vice president of global sourcing operations at Net-a-Porter, told Yahoo Style: “This special sneaker stands out from the white shoes because of the unique retro effect. Each pair is hand-washed and beaten. Wax to achieve a moderately worn and worn feel. Over the past two seasons, we have seen too many new sparkling white shoes, and this new way of showing new styles looks like your favorite A pair of old shoes, no way to wear them. This makes everything look more precious and more precious, of course.

This seemingly popular brand was actually established 17 years ago by Alessandro Gallo and Francesca Rinaldo in Venice, Italy. Two non-educated designers rely on their interest in streetwear and inspiration from travel. The prototype of the Golden Goose Deluxe Brand is now out. What many people don’t know is that the brand has been a full-fledged brand since its inception, and shoes that have contributed 75% of their performance were designed in 2007.

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

In order to strengthen the footwear category while highlighting its product range including ready-to-wear, accessories, children’s shoes, etc., Golden Goose Deluxe Brand chose to perform a guest show at the recent Pitti Uomo men’s wear show in Florence. Benaglia said that they are waiting for the best time for activities. “This year marks the 10th anniversary of the birth of our iconic sneakers. According to the concept of “Out of the Crowd”, we organized a unique event that is different from traditional fashion shows but has a visual impact. Live performance,” she said. On the scene of the show, along with the rumbling music, the skateboarder wore a golden hoodie in the huge cement cylinder, which was a sub-culture picture of the millennial generation, and the spotted display and dressing on the spot. The model of the space suit suggests that this is a luxury brand with extraordinary handwriting.

“Currently, one of the reasons for our success may be that even if the brand is still undergoing huge expansion, it is still complex and mature, not a brand for everyone, but a dedicated brand for a special customer. ,” Benaglia said. In 2016, the brand’s revenue exceeded 100 million euros, and its revenue in 2015 was 76 million euros, an increase of about 30%. It is predicted that there will be similar growth in 2017. “We believe that the concept of luxury today is changing in different ways, not its ‘expensive’, but ‘specificity’,” Benaglia said.

Compared to other traditional luxury brands that are guilty about how to capture young consumers, Benaglia tells BoF that she prefers to describe Golden Goose Deluxe Brand as an intergenerational modern brand. “Our modernity is also popular with both mature and young consumers, suitable for millennials and for mature consumers. Compared to other luxury brands, we maintain the value of typical classic luxury, such as timeless Value, the presence of iconic products (our sneakers), but at the same time blending the concepts of luxury and street,” she said: “The new generation, especially the new generation of China, is more open, more accustomed to travel, and is affected by the global market. The impact of the trend. Therefore, they immediately understand that we are a real brand with real value: made in Venice, inspired by travelers. Golden Goose Deluxe Brand is a brand from Venice in Italy to Venice in California, and our series often It is a journey from this ‘coast’ to the ‘coast’.”

“For the first few generations, they don’t immediately realize the positioning of retro style in the luxury field. For us, retro is a kind of value, for the classic timeless love and the spirit of not wasting, Behind the retro, the real life experience. Our shoes have changed the way people think about sportswear through exclusive hand-made products. Through the research and innovation of luxury goods, the value of the brand is enhanced: we are a way of life. Brand, because we are a kind of existence, an emotion, a fashion to find its unique expression of history. Therefore, this new concept of luxury is easier for the younger generation to understand.”

As Benaglia said, the brand quickly opened up the market because of its unique positioning and the promotion of popular culture and the love of young people. Currently, she believes that the brand is still in a process of growth. “In Europe, South Korea and Japan, we are in the consolidation phase, and the brand has been in the market for a long time. In the US, whether it is wholesale business or retail business, we are in the midst of large-scale expansion, in the past two The quarter has grown by 100%. For us, China is a new market,” she said. Last year, it just opened two single-brand stores in Beijing Taikooli and Shanghai Henglong Plaza. “Undoubtedly, in China, we are in an exciting start-up phase.”

Although its brand has just started in China, young Chinese consumers are no strangers to Golden Goose Deluxe Brand. At the beginning of 2016, in the popular Korean drama “The Descendants of the Sun”, the lens gave a big close-up of the male actor Song Zhongji’s “dirty sneakers”. Since then, the actor has frequently worn the Golden Goose Deluxe Brand, plus the blessings of other Chinese and foreign stars. A star boom.

Source: BOF

“Our brand has a precise positioning in the luxury world of Korea. The brand has strong sales in Korea and is popular among Korean stars and celebrities. Its influence has provided a strong impetus to the development of other Asian markets. The high-end positioning strategy of Japan and South Korea has indeed helped Golden Goose Deluxe Brand open the Chinese market, laying the foundation and the first customers, which allowed us to successfully open two stores here,” Benaglia said.

Unlike many brands, Golden Goose Deluxe Brand has always placed the Asian market a priority. “We started from Japan and South Korea because they can influence and promote 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 the source of inspiration for the brand. When we started from the brand, we realized that Japan was the starting point for opening and developing the Asian market. The expansion in Korea began five years ago. This is a young and dynamic market with the highest growth rate. Second in the third largest market in Italy and the United States.”

In 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 that it has not previously entered. “We attach great importance to maintaining a close and close relationship with wholesalers. We regard it as a partner rather than a customer. This is consistent. Our success is not from strong media promotion and advertising, but from Wholesale partners’ word-of-mouth marketing strategies have made us famous, and they are also happy with the brand’s achievements,” Benaglia said. “In the luxury world, retail expansion has always been an important step in creating brand awareness and strengthening its values. From 2012 Year to date, in the past five years, our retail expansion and wholesale business growth rate is consistent.”

At the same time, Golden Goose Deluxe Brand has long recognized the importance of online channels, and has long-term close cooperation with luxury e-commerce companies such as Net-a-Porter, Farfetch, Ssense, and its own e-commerce platform, online business contribution 20% of total turnover. “But we believe that it is still strategic to have a physical store 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. The actual experience, touch and wear products, especially for luxury brands,” Benaglia told.

Now, Benaglia is committed to giving consumers a link between online and offline experiences. “The store is the best place for us to explain the brand story, value, and content of the series,” she told BoF. “We do retail in the same way as Glocal. Every store is different. In this way, by travel, the same customer can purchase different products in different stores in Seoul, Milan, Paris, New York, etc., so that they can provide customers with different shopping experiences. . “Of course, building this store in this ‘customized way’ requires investment from the company, but we believe that such a strategy is critical for today’s luxury brands,” she said.

As it says, behind the rapid expansion of the sales network in recent years, it is inseparable from investment, and the Golden Goose Deluxe Brand, which has always been a niche and unique ambition and potential for global expansion, is the capital. A good asset in the eyes. In the past four years, the brand has been changed many times: In 2013, the Italian private equity fund DGPA SGR first acquired its 75% stake for 45 million euros; in 2015, this share was taken over by Belgian private equity firm Ergon Capital Partners; this month, It is rumored that Carlyle Group LP will acquire the brand for 400 million euros. Sources revealed that the specific transaction will be announced at the end of March. The Carlyle Group had several cases of investment fashion brands, including the Italian brand Moncler with down jacket, TwinSet Simona Barbieri Dutch underwear brand Hunkem?ller International BV and Chinese brand Ge Lisi. It is reported that the Carlyle Group plans to help it expand. Global retail channels and enhanced e-commerce strength.

“Golden Goose Deluxe Brand is doing a great job, so Ergon Capital Partners’ expectation is that it may shorten the investment cycle in order to get a return on investment in a shorter period of time,” said Roberta Benaglia, a private equity fund that holds a minority stake in the brand. The CEO of Style Capital, she did not specifically comment on whether the Carlyle Group’s transactions and private placements that value short-term returns can really make 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, maintained its continuity, there has not been any change within the company, the management team is still the same, the founder husband and wife is still in charge of the design and creative business. “It is this team that has operated from a turnover of 20 million euros in 2012 to 100 million euros today,” she said.

“Today, the market regards us as the leading brand of luxury street style, because we not only create this brand’s ‘casualization’ in the sneaker market, but also become a symbol of leisure elegance and leisure luxury.” Benaglia said: “Perhaps there are some luxury brands today that are overexposed in communications and retail. The risk is to become a commodity with too high price. The cheap golden goose Deluxe Brand is modest, never overexposed, in terms of sales channels. Very picky. This is what it means for us today.