It's been nearly a year since Alessandro Michele showed his first womenswear collection for Gucci, and although his quirky, exuberantly adorned designs quickly began appearing in the pages of fashion magazines and on the backs of street style stars, the jury was still out about whether consumers were on board as well. But according to Kering's latest financial results, the Italian brand's sales returned to growth in the final quarter of the year, suggesting that shoppers are indeed fond of its new direction. Good thing, because let's be honest: no matter how many magazine covers Gucci graces, that doesn't mean much to its publicly traded parent company if everyday women aren't biting.
Gucci's had its ups and downs this year. While comparable sales dipped 8 percent in the first quarter of the year, they popped up 4.6 percent in the second, thanks to Chinese tourist traffic and increased product discounting in China — they weren't buying Michele's designs just yet, though, since his first collection arrived in stores for fall. The third quarter brought flat sales (down 0.4 percent) — Gucci's cruise collection hit at the end of that period — but in the fourth they were again up 4.8 percent. And that was Michele's work selling.
As Kering's biggest brand, Gucci's success is a big win for the company overall. Saint Laurent, too, continues to crush it at the cash register, with its 2015 sales up nearly 26 percent compared to the year prior. Let's hope that rumored change-up in Saint Laurent's creative management doesn't mess up its roll.