- Kristopher Fraser |
While the menswear market is on track to outpace the womenswear market, Saint Laurent is actually seeing a boom thanks to their womenswear. The Kering-owned brand has been one of the most precious gems of the luxury conglomerate, and under the creative direction of Anthony Vaccarello and the business leadership of CEO Francesca Bellettini, the brand's womenswear has seen a surge in sales. Having models like Kendall Jenner walk their show certainly isn't hurting their womenswear exposure either.
“If you think that the luxury industry is mostly women-driven, and before Anthony, our men’s ready-to-wear business was bigger than the women’s ready-to-wear, it’s dysfunctional, so there was a huge job that we had to do to reaffirm the woman of Saint Laurent,” Belletinni said to WWD.
She has been determined to elevate the position of womenswear at the brand, as they had long been carried by their men's business. The businesswoman knows how to deliver results too. Since 2013 when she joined Saint Laurent, the Parisian fashion house's sales have tripled. That doesn't mean she can rest easy though. Her goal is to take the brand to a project target of 3 billion euros.
In 2017, the company posted sales of 1.5 billion euros, making them the second largest brand in Kering's portfolio after their It child, Gucci. While sales have surged year over year, they have kept a slower consistent pace over the past few years.
WWD reported that second quarter, turnover rose 19.8 percent in comparable terms to 400 million euros — below the 40.1 percent jump logged by Gucci, but sharply above the 6 to 8 percent luxury sector growth forecast by Bain & Co. for this year.
“There are not that many brands that are able to grow 20 percent,” Bellettini said to WWD. “It’s 19 quarters, which corresponds to 57 months, that we are delivering growth of 20 percent or more. What is amazing about what we have been able to do is the resilience — it’s the fact that we continue to deliver.”
While most companies are reluctant to open more brick-and-mortar stores in this temperamental climate for physical retail, Saint Laurent has opened 18 new stores in the first half of the year, putting them on track to outpace their target of 20 stores per year.
They will be taking over the space formerly occupied by Colette for a new store in Paris, and they also have flagships for Beijing and China in the works. With Paris Style Week creeping up as Style Month approaches, everyone is also wondering what Vaccarello will do next. He wowed New York with his co-ed show, but looks to be having no trouble with keeping up momentum given the continuous increase in Saint Laurent's sales. It's good to be Saint Laurent right now.