An Analysis of ‘Giorgio Armani’

FASHION RESEARCH, MARKETING AND TREND FORECASTING An Analysis of ‘Giorgio Armani’ Victoria Joana Scherer Due: 14. 12.

2012 Word Count: 2219 +/- Abstract, Introduction and Conclusion not included Table of Contents Abstract4 Introduction5 1. Analysis of the socio-cultural framework6 Social trends6 PETA activists6 Size Zero7 Cultural evolution7 Economical evolution8 2. Analysis of the fashion trends/fads affecting the brand9 Mood-board9 Description of major fashion trends12 Colours12 Fabrics/ Materials13 Silhouettes13 3. Brand scan14 Analysis of targets/ customers14

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Positioning14 Marketing Mix16 Analysis of fashion collections16 Competitive benchmarking compared to main competitors17 SWOT Analysis17 4. Definition of a forecasting plan18 Branding (image and recognition)18 Collection architecture18 Distribution plan19 Communications19 Conclusion20 Overall recommendations20 Appendix21 1. 121 Bibliography22 Articles22 Books22 Images23 Press Release23 Websites23 Youtube24 Abstract The following fashion brand forecasting plan stories Giorgio Armani’s previous and current designs, analyzing in terms of existing strategy, and market research.

In the process of researching I paged through newspapers, extensively, many magazines, viewing past catwalks, scrutinized the internet media; in order to depict a sense of chosen colour, fabrics and styles, hence propose a new complete strategy. The project analyzes the four key aspects of: 1. Analysis of the socio-cultural framework (mainstreams in terms of social trends, cultural and economical evolution) 2. Analysis of the fashion trends/fads affecting the brand 3. Brand scan (analysis of targets/customers; fashion collections, competitive benchmarking compared to 2/3 competitors) 4.

Definition of a forecasting plan The reason for me to choose this brand is that I did a summer internship which I greatly enjoyed and therefore had previous knowledge on the brand which I could integrate in my research. Further, did I use the same brand for my midterm assignment, having now the opportunity to make an even greater in-depth examination of Giorgio Armani. Introduction Giorgio Armani was born in 1934 in Piacenza, Italy. In the year 1975, he and his cohabite Sergio Galeotti founded the company ‘Giorgio Armani SpA’ in one of the worlds fashion capitals, Milan.

Having studied two terms of medicine prior to the launch of the company, Mr.

Armani completely changed his professional orientation when he started working as a visual merchandiser for department store ‘La Rinascente’. It was in 1990 when he first started to segment his company into sub-labels; ‘Emporio Armani’ ; ‘Mani’. After some time he also created Giorgio Armani Prive, , Armani Collezioni, Armani Jeans, AX/Armani Exchange, Armani Junior, Armani Underwear, EA7, Armani Casa, Giorgio Armani Cosmetics, Armani Libri, Armani Flori, Armani Dolci and many more.

The graph above, illustrates the various facets of Armani’s designs, having created a label which covers each category and customer interest. He is many celebrities favourite fashion designers; distinctive and famous for his elegant designs. His style is to be identified by unusual and unique cut combined with an elegant monochromatic colour palette.

“Elegance doesn’t mean being noticed, it means being remembered. ” – (Giorgio Armani) Armani is known for presenting himself in his signature simplistic style of jeans, silver/ grey t-shirt, black blazer.

His look has become a holistic concept of life. Not only has he built an empire, he created a whole new world. 1. Analysis of the socio-cultural framework Social trends In fashion one “trend” chases the other.

Nothing is as “old” as the collection of yesterday. Fashion trends are simply the surface phenomena of deeper social developments. They are the visual manifestation of desires and needs. The interesting question arises: What lies behind the current fashionable forms of expression and what kind of influence does society have on the fashion trends?

What did constitutes for Armani and issues he had to tackle thereupon. PETA activists In the year 2009, PETA activists affronted Giorgio Armani, who promised to not produce any fur in his future collections. Anyhow, Armani failed keeping his promise.

As a result PETA called for a boycott of his fashion – No Armani gowns at the Oscar ceremony! (February 22nd, 2009) Further did they publish a poster which shows Armani with a long Pinocchio nose. In several places such as Las Vegas, Milan, Paris, there were anti-fur demonstrations in front of the stores of the designer. See Appendix 1. 1) The social trend of fighting for animal rights was an issue Armani had to work upon. Instead, he claimed never to have made such a promise, anyhow apologized in public for any misunderstanding.

It seems he did not deem it to be necessary to tackle this problem any further, as it is a small niche of society and would accordingly only have a small effect on Armani’s customers buying habit. Further, are other luxury brands, competitors using fur in their collections which makes the issue even less meaningful. Size Zero Size zero – a craze and controversy.

As the 22- year-old Uruguayan model Luisel Ramos died after having starved herself to death, the organizers of the 2006 Madrid Fashion Week decided to ban skinny, size zero models. The World Health Organization is concerned that “the use of underweight models sends out dangerously wrong signals to girls, who look models as role models”. In November, the same year, the Brazilian model Ana Carolina Reston died at a young age of just 21 from anorexia.

This tragedy made Armani being first of all luxury brands to introduce his own policy of only engaging ‘healthy-looking’ models with a BMI of 19.

Many brands followed this social trend. Cultural evolution Today, regarding the ambience of lifestyle the Italians are seen as role models many societies: Espresso, Pinot Grigio, Tartufo Bianco, Gigli, Alessi, Armani. As any art mirrors design, whether for product or fashion, nothing represents a society more clearly. These mirrors are not placed in museums or elsewhere, we see them everywhere in life. Fashion is a sensual and rapid response to the now.

Dealing with it, encounters the loving of surfaces, the study and cultivation which can be regarded as a profound thing.

Milan, the origin and headquarter of Giorgio Armani, is one of the most famous fashion metropolis of the world. A mecca where various cultures come together, being inspiration for the designer himself and for society. Each trend emerges of society, having similar perception and emotions in different countries, can be combined together to then aspire a connectedness. Giorgio Armani receives lots of cultural influences of Asia for his designs. For example in 2010, he set the trend of an asymmetric neckline with a single sleeve (Sari), interpreted in a more modern way.

When observing his catwalks, it is to mention that Armani engages ethnically diverse runway models. This emphasize the multi-cultural influence, Armani has on the world, as each customer, no matter which origin can feel connected to the brand. Economical evolution Due to the serious financial crisis that hit the world markets in 2009, Giorgio Armani proved outstanding staying power, when comparing it to the average performance of the industry. Giorgio Armani generated a turnover of 6€ billion at retail value (including licensed products), of which 4€ billion were made by their core business and 2€ billion from third party licences. The general slowdown in the fashion and luxury markets that also affected Giorgio Armani is largely due to a decline in GDP, in particular in North America, Europe and Japan”. Nevertheless, Armani succeeded and had stable increasing sales in China, a 32% boost, when comparing it to the year before which proves a momentum of recent years in the region.

“I have to say that the interest of the Chinese public for Giorgio Armani is outstanding. I have experienced this through my stores and also through the welcome I was given in China. ” (Giorgio Armani) 2. Analysis of the fashion trends/fads affecting the brand Mood-board

The Timeless Description of major fashion trends The fashion maestro demonstrates in his haute couture a precision of unusual cuts, complex designs and valuable fabrics, all abiding the pure elegance in usual monochromatic colours. Elements of severe men’s wear are transferred to the women’s design, shaping the unmistakable Armani style. Colours Armani’s brand mark has always been the colour black, believing it gives a sophisticated and elegant touch to each and every design.

Throughout the years, he complemented these with signal colours to create a modern look, being influenced by the Asian theme.

In 2010, his collection emerges influences with a poppy red being its primary colour, as traditionally seen in ‘Qi Pao’s’. One year later, one could believe Mr. Armani himself has fallen in love. Into a theme which one would expect least of such a rationalist, the lascivious world of Boudoir.

Powdery rose tones, a touch of grey complement his basis colour black. In the year 2012, mottled grey and black severe pantsuits harmonized with bright and vibrant colours such as pink, coral and tangerine. “Enlightened by bright ‘twinkle’ colours as in Tokyo…”. Fabrics/ Materials

When analyzing Armani’s collection from the previous year it is to recon that he has a distinct use of silk, categorizing it as his main fabric. Starting in 2010, where the fine lustrous fiber sticks superbly to the Asian theme, adding an incredible intense touch of elegance.

Further, he used velvet which has a smooth dense pile and plain underside, creating a mysterious hint to the collection. Later in 2011, Armani uses flowing fabrics, such as chiffon and satin. Silhouettes The silhouette of Armani’s collection is based on the Asian culture, a theme which shows great influences on his collections in the past three years.

In 2010, blazers, skirts and dresses are designed that fabrics overlap as seen in the traditional ‘Qi Pao’. Further, he gathered inspiration of the Sari; a long shawl which is wrapped around the waist and the end draped over the shoulder.

The trend of an asymmetric neckline with a single sleeve (Sari), interpreted in a more modern way. The dresses are cut short, instead of long, slim cut – the western chic. In 2011, a paradigm of simplicity; straight-cut silk tops which is attached together with a brooch below the left breast and simply combined with matching silk trousers. 012 he referred back to his brand mark of transferring elements of men’s wear into severe pantsuits for women. Mottled grey ensembles on which huge rosettes of colourful pochettes are clinged together, complemented with diagonally placed trilby hats and men’s shoes. 3.

Brand scan Analysis of targets/ customers Giorgio Armani has an iconic popularity amongst the elite of society, being one of many celebrities favourite designer. Nowadays, Giorgio Armani SpA encompasses a brand architecture of one corporate brand and five sub-labels, “each catering to different sets of target customers and at different price evels”. His main collection of apparel for ‘Giorgio Armani’ are of the ultra-premium price points, which accordingly more likely to target elderly consumers, therefore reaching the 35-50 year old age group segment. Positioning Defendability Operating in a small niche market, where 1st mover benefit and followers are at “disadvantage”. Erecting barriers to competition by discouraging entry through expertise, customer loyalty and continuous innovation of new designs, keeps the company ahead from its competitors. Differentiation

Giorgio Armani’s brand concept is being sophisticated, targeting the upper-class with high-quality and innovative, elegant designs.

“Elegance doesn’t mean being noticed, it means being remembered. ” – (Giorgio Armani) Strategic Orientation Product leadership achieved through good performance having a clear mission for the company: “My mission has always been to help women and men feel comfortable and confident through the clothes they wear, rather than to create decoration for the sake of it. ” (Giorgio Armani, Squidoo, 2012). Giorgio Armani’s symbolic expressive value appeals to consumer’s self-concepts and self-worth prestige, status image.

Marketing Mix The 4 P’S demonstrate with what, where and how Giorgio Armani promotes his products in order to succeed with his marketing strategies. Analysis of fashion collections By means of the positioning and the marketing mix of the brand, it clearly illustrates how well Giorgio Armani integrates the concepts, making a clear statement through his collections towards his competitors.

Due to the vast increase of sales in Asia, especially in China, after the financial crisis in 2009, the designer himself traveled regularly to the East for certain matters, by which he got the greatest experiences and influences for his pcoming collections. From 2010 onwards, one can indicate a strong emphasis of the Asian culture. “China approaches fashion with strong enthusiasm, and I believe that this enthusiasm can be translated into something interesting, economically speaking. Not only for my brand, but also for other brands…

We notice this, by wandering around in Shanghai … Beijing …

and also smaller cities. ” (Giorgio Armani) Competitive benchmarking compared to main competitors SWOT Analysis Even though Armani has high brand recognition, being well-known all over the world, faces fierce competition in its industry.

Its greatest competitors are Hugo Boss and Gianni Versace since they target the same market. Especially the German brand, Hugo Boss is regarded as a great threat, since the brand implements stringent design and quality standards to produce superior products that deliver value for money. This is difficult to keep up with as Giorgio Armani’s price range is higher than that of Boss’. Further this strength may implicate the threat of brand duplicity.

This is due as Armani is catering to a very small upper premium segment target group.

An average salary in the UK amounts to approximate 30000? per annum (Council of Mortgage Lenders, 2012). This wage does not make it possible to purchase such expensive goods of Giorgio Armani wherefore brand duplicates seem as a good alternative for the customer. Especially in China, where Giorgio Armani seeks the opportunity of developing and expanding its branches, is considered as the mecca of fakes. 4.

Definition of a forecasting plan Branding (image and recognition) Having sponsored the Italian team in the Olympics, Giorgio Armani made great awareness of its brand.

Since, Armani is willing to have even greater brand recognition; the Olympics and the world cup in Brazil are a great opportunity to achieve so. Millions of people will be following these events, by interacting in such, Armani could gain a competitive advantage to Hugo Boss and Gianni Versace. Collection architecture The Asian theme appears throughout the years of Giorgio Armani’s collection. Being inspired by the ‘Qi Pao’s’ first, followed by ‘Sari’s’, both serve as great inspiration. In the year 2012, bright colours are combined with black and grey, which could be interpreted as the ‘up and coming’ colourful skyline of Tokyo.

Due to the appearances of velvet and wave-like designs in 2010, it is to state that Armani could use these two variations as inspiration for the upcoming season in 2013. Blouses will be straight-cut with a balloon-like ending, such as seen in seasons 2010 and 2011. These will be combined with straight-cut trousers, edging it with a comeback of pointed shoes and a finish-off with trilby hats, as seen in the collection of 2012. These symbols represent power and being dynamic, as the fast-pasting metropolis of Asia. Colours will range from darker Bordeaux reds into degrees of purple, complementary to the beloved plain colour of Mr.

Armani himself, black.

Distribution plan Giorgio Armani employs 5500 in their direct workforce, having 13 factories and a perpendicular network of exclusive retail stores in 46 countries worldwide. In order to increase their annual revenue of 1,8 € [=1. 453. 750. 000? (Exchange rate on the 13.

12. 2012) Press Release 2011] billion, Armani could increase their presence of branded flagship stores, with independent retailers and department stores, as well as increasing the availability of online distribution, as Brazil is not listed. Brazil definitely has to be included as this country will have great influence on future campaigns.

Communications The world community will come together to celebrate the festivities of the Olympic Games and the World Cup in Brazil together. Brazil being host to many people around the world; creating a feeling of togetherness.

Armani can be part of this by sponsoring the Italian team and making aware of themselves. Building up on this strategy, Armani should invest in advertising campaigns, billboards etc…, raising positive awareness and excitement towards the brand and the events. Conclusion Giorgio Armani is one of the most famous Italian fashion designers.

His style is classic, elegant and discrete – this is reflected in each of his puristic designs. He is the creator of an empire which successfully operating due to efficient marketing strategies, using celebrities to raise awareness with advertising, engaging the company on events such as sponsoring the Olympic team or promoting the new James Bond “Skyfall” [Vogue, Germany Premiere), the movie in which he accouters the actors. To mention is the correlation between the movie and the designer’s inspirational Asian theme, as Skyfall’s settings partially take place in Shanghai, China (Movie Trailer, Youtube).

By means of this, Giorgio Armani outperforms his competitors, bringing his competitive advantage to a new level. Armani, is that what one wants to wear – the oh so traditional, new trend. Overall recommendations When analyzing the world of Giorgio Armani, it seems nearly useless to give recommendation to the company, as he has been successfully managing the company, in all areas, since years. Anyhow, there are little areas where he could make some improvements. Even though Giorgio Armani is a luxurious brand, the brand could offer accessories slightly cheaper such as scarves, since these prices start from 248€ [=200,29? Exchange rate on the 13. 12.

2012) Armani Website] in order to make it possible for customers who desire the brand to make a purchase on a good which they could wear on a daily basis. This would increase even greater brand recognition and higher customer satisfaction, even for those who can’t afford Giorgio Armani itself. It makes them feel to be a small part of the world of Armani. Regarding the failure of interacting the social trend of “going green” and “being socially active” in 2009 where Armani presented fur in his catwalk, after making great announcements to PETA.

To get rid of his negative image, and create a more valuable relationship to celebrities, he could get involved in social activities. Due to his great relations to celebrities, he might use these, to get those who are highly involved with PETA, such as Katie Holmes, to change his image.

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Modelabel Giorgio Armani. ” Modeopfer 110. N. p. , 15 May 2012. Web.

13 Dec. 2012. <http://www. modeopfer110. de/mode/labels/giorgio-armani.

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YouTube, 31 July 2012. Web. 13 Dec. 2012. ;http://www. youtube.

com/watch? v=tveYIIM1qf8;. | ——————————————– [ 1 ]. This research is based on my experiences of the internship I took part during Summer 2012 in London.