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Executive Summary

VALENTINO -

Introduction & History Brand Identity Consumers Brand

Positioning Communications Mix Bibliography 3


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This report was created to show the research conducted on luxury fashion brand Valentino. It incorporates research, exploration and evaluations of the environment in which Valentino operates. Methods of research included visitations to luxury

brand stores, boutiques and luxury establishments, where information was recorded and analysed. Findings include a wide variety of facts and some statistics in which, provide an explanation as to why Valentinos prospects as a brand are

positive. It has been concluded that Valentino Garavani, socialite as well as designer, played a vital role in couture fashion, and even after leaving Valentino is still an inspiration to the fashion world today.

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IS FOR H

e knows what women want. They want to be beautiful. Valentino Garavani created just that when he founded Maison Valentino in 1960, in Rome, Italy, the base of the brand. Valentino was known for his full length skirts (a contrast to the ‘mini’ skirts at that time) and, red couture dresses that left a substantial mark on the fashion industry. This particular shade of red went on to be known as ‘Valentino Red’, later being the inspiration for diffusion

brand ‘R.E.D Valentino’. 1960 was not only the year of luxury brand Valentino being founded, but also the year the master of haute couture met future business partner and close friend, Giancarlo Giammetti. In 1962, Valentino showed his first haute couture collection, known as his break through show at the Pitti Palace in Florence. Soon after this collection was shown, Valentino became one of the most well known designers to go to if you were a fashionable celebrity in show business, otherwise known as the ‘glitterati’. By 1967, Valentino was known as the top designer in Italian haute couture and Vogue (2012) stated that he was “awarded the prestigious Neiman Marcus Award for his infamous ‘no-colour collection’, for which he bucked the trend for decadent colour palettes…” This simple yet effective collection introduced ‘V’ being the new trademark symbol for

Valentino. Following on from such prestigious moments in Valentino’s career, it didn’t stop there. By 1969, Valentino had opened two of his first ready-to-wear stores in both Milan and Rome. In the eighties he launched a children’s wear collection, and a collection for young adults which he named ‘Olivier’ after his pet pug. Valentino spent most of the seventies being more than just an average socialite whilst focusing on his designs in New York. Following on from this, “in 1989 he opened the Academie Valentino in Rome, a cultural centre to house art exhibitions and cultural activities.” (Vogue 2012) Later in 1998 Valentino and Giammetti, sold ‘Valentino’ for “approximately $300 million, to ‘Holding di Partecipazioni Industriali’ (HdP), an Italian conglomerate controlled, in part, by the late Gianni Agelli, the head of Fiat.” (fashion model directory 2016) However, both

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Introduction Valentino and Giammetti were still involved in all decision making and Valentino carried forth as designer. Still to this day, even though he has retired from designing, “Valentino still works on special commissions. He designed actress Anne Hathaway’s wedding dress in late 2012 and, more recently, the bridal gown worn by Princess Madeleine of Sweden for her royal nuptials in June 2013.” (Vogue 2012) In 2002, HdP sold the company for $210 million to another Italian, Milan based, luxury group, Marzotto Apparel. In 2006, Stefano Sassi joined Valentino, becoming the Chief Executive Officer. This was perfect timing in celebration of the 45th anniversary of the brand, creating a whole new ‘strategic vision’. The most recent news to the Valentino brand was broadcasted in Paris on July 7th 2016, when Valentino nominated “Pierpaolo Piccioli sole Creative Director of the Maison.” (valentino. com 2016) Maison Valentino plays an extremely important part within luxury fashion and has done for over 50 years. Expressing timeless elegance and unique beauty, Valentino “is present in over 90 countries; through 160 Valentino directly-operated boutiques and over 1300 points of sale.” (valentino.com 2016)

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Valentino - Selfridges - London

Brand Identity is the visual components of the brand. What makes it different? What are the key elements? These aspects are all important. Valentino’s trademark ‘V’ is an element that differentiates it from other brands. Along with their ‘rock studs’ which are a classic component to Valentino’s designs. It is without a doubt that the fashion industry is highly competitive, with products going out of style just as quick as they are coming in. Therefore, Valentino is forced to be innovative, and differentiate their products from the rest at a rapid pace. Valentino and all its diffusion brands, play a vital role within the luxury sector, which is clearly communicated to its consumers, ensuring the status of the brand never declines.

Brand Identity

With their irresistible products and intricate designs, Valentino have always focused on the consumer. This is illustrated through their brand ‘promises’, including: • To be the fashion world’s protagonists in the fashion and luxury sectors. • Ensuring the highest quality standards in all market segments we serve. • Steadily focusing on the demands of an unwaveringly evolving cosmopolite consumer. • Pursue excellence and innovation by establishing an on-going dialogue between passion and experience. (UK essays 2015)

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Consumers

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consumer is someone who purchases goods and services for personal use. So, from

unique bags to dreamy shoes, impeccable dresses to sultry perfume, Valentino never fails when it comes to their out standing products. Attracting a wealth of different individuals including a vast amount of celebrities, Valentino never fail to charm and romance their audience/consumers. Valentino’s consumers range from 18-24 year olds who have few financial outgoings and are less sensitive to price when they do have money; to 30-45 year olds that reward themselves for their hard work. Valentino as a brand “operates in the upper end of the fashion and luxury market” (fashionmodelsdirectory. com 2016) and includes many conglomerate brands including Valentino Roma, Valentino Garavani and R.E.D. Valentino. These diffusion brands feature everything from haute

couture, ready-to-wear, designer and more. A classic from Valentino are their Valentino ‘studs’, featured on many of their designs since the beginning.

The brand today is

controlled by a holding company called ‘Mahoola’, who according to Valentino.com (2016) “has brought a rapid growth in the potential of the Valentino brand.” Pierpaolo Piccioli presented his very first solo collection for the brand at Paris Fashion Week in October 2016, completely wowing everyone with 64 different looks. Both day and evening wear was revealed with such elegance, including vibrant colours of pinks, yellows and of course the classic ‘Valentino Red’. Today, Valentino hasn’t changed and is still one of the highest sought after brands in the industry by consumers. This luxury brand is seen as a ‘dream’ for many men and women fashionistas all over the world. The Chronology of Fashion (2011) states that, “Valentino’s dresses were the obvious choice for the

woman who was looking for style and form over fashion statement.” Endless publicity and high-profile customers means Valentino’s current situation within the market is a never ending positive one.

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Brand positioning can be described as the position in which brands seek to be viewed in the consumers minds. Valentino himself had many methods to strategically build relationship with clients and maintain their loyalty - the USP’s and ESP’s; this meant learning and knowing what his consumers wanted. Fashion since 1990 stated that “Valentino was hailed as the master of this genre”. He built a positive client base with socialites “that defined art, fashion, and politics within the corporate structure to defining current trends.” (Management Article Blog 2016) Especially with close friend Ms Jackie O, who was a high profile model for Valentino. Having these women in Valentino, especially in the 60s and 70s, built trust with his consumers and thus, enhancing both the brands, unique and emotional selling points. Unfortunately, as a brand, Valentino has suffered since the retirement of founder Valentino Garavani in 2008. “In fiscal 2009, the company reported significant losses.” (euromonitor. com 2011) However, since recovering from great losses, Valentino has grown with creativity, with help from new creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli; and is still highly successful along with brands such as Chanel, Gucci and Moschino. Another of the Valentino’s unique selling points are the classic studs that are on the majority of the designs, including rock stud bags and matching shoes, dresses and coats. They force the brand to be memorable for consumers, ensuring Valentino is easy to identify.

Brand Positioning

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Valentino.com (2016)

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ue to Valentino’s high profile status, little advertising is done to publicise the brand. Valentino is a brand that speaks for itself and a small amount is needed to be done for its specific consumers to be informed on the brand and its new lines. Online banners are used on the Valentino official website in the section ‘World of Valentino’. Here Valentino features the mens and women lines for the current time of year, both clothing and accessories. It also has a feature on the classic ‘rock stud’ collection, with the hashtag #rockstudspike, in order for consumers to follow the ‘New York Diary’ for the collection. Valentino’s red dresses, to a certain extent, act as advertisement for the brand due to; many individuals associating the brand with these dresses and, celebrities still today walking the red carpet wearing them. According to Fashion: The Whole Story (2013) it “resonates with a timeless glamour that is rooted in classic couture and italian femininity.”

ADVERTISING 14


PR & PERSONAL SELLING

Valentino features in Fashion Week all over the world to show new collections for the coming seasons. This doesn’t only benefit the consumers, but physically being present, is also a great technique for Valentino to establish who is featuring what on the run way. Not only this, but socialising is a tactical way for designers to become known and develop ‘friendships’ with other significant people within the industry, therefore creating future sponsorships, endorsement deals and other publicly related advantages.

Above Photos: Red Valentino store - Sloan Street

As Valentino is respected and highly sought for within fashion, the products have in the past featured on popular TV shows, such as Gossip Girl where it was reported that every female character had a Valentino handbag. As well as TV deals, Valentino has been known to be worn by many major celebrities over the years including; Eva Longoria, Kristen Wiig and Olivia Wilde, which in

retrospect, sells the product.

Photo took in Valentino - Selfridges 15


SALES PROMOTION

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S

ales promotion is an immense thing for many brands within the fashion industry, to up sell products and make themselves known. However, Valentino is able to function successfully without a mass promotion that brands within the retail sector may need. Although Valentino doesn’t produce much in terms of promotion, they do use specific and effective brand packaging and labelling, to ensure these elements are remembered by consumers. This in effect is promotion. At the point of sale, customers will admire their purchase being wrapped and prepared for the consumer to take home. According to the Manager of Valentino at Harrods, London (2016), this is a key point within the customers visit and is the point at which they remember the most. Therefore, point of sale is important for Valentino to promote other products, and also give the consumer an insight to the current season. They do this by providing them with a catalogue, along with their purchase.

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W

hen entering the Valentino website a pop up appears, asking if individuals would like to ‘sign up’ to emails to subscribe to the Valentino newsletter. The is a promotion technique, which gives consumers a link directly to the website, new lines and other features Valentino may want to promote. Consumers also are advised (when purchasing) to create an account, which saves

a lot of time when checking out, as it saves details, including card details and address. When registering details, individuals can also create a wish list of up to 50 items, allowing them to save products on their account until they want to purchase, or even email the list to another individual who may want to purchase them a gift, for example.

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“There are only three things I can do - make a dress, decorate a house, and entertain people.� - Valentino Garavani

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Mintel Academic (2016) states that, “As of March 2016 eight in 10 UK consumers had accessed a social network in the previous three months.” Social media is an enormous every day tool that brands use to promote themselves

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in order to gain followers, use ‘hashtags’ and establish a connection with fashion focused individuals all over the world. Valentino use two of the most popular apps/sites in the online world; Twitter and Instagram. On Valentino’s Twitter ‘@ MaisonValentino’, they post up to date photos of celebrities wearing their products, recent cat walk shows, links to their website, new season lines/

products and a whole lot more. With 1.79 million followers, Valentino isn’t unseen in the ‘Twittersphere’. Hashtags such as #ValentinoFW1617 are used to promote and push their twitter to be seen by more users.

A I D E M

#ValentinoFW1617

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he Instagram account of Valentino (maisonvalentino) is virtually identical to their twitter account. With the same photos that are posted daily, the same captions and just a few more hashtags used. It features a direct link to their ‘insta shop’ and they have 7.5 million followers.

When following brands that relate to Valentino, e.g. other luxury brands; Instagram uses a ‘sponsored link’ that appears on the feeds of those who dont yet follow them/ may want to. It can advertise their Instagram account as a ‘people who you should follow’, or also advertises a link to their website. Valentino pays Instagram for this, in hope to enhance their number of consumers. 23


ibliography •Fashion Model Directory (2016) Selling of Valentino. Retrieved from: http:// www.fashionmodeldirectory.com/brands/valentino/

•Valentino (2016) The amount of Valentino stores and boutiques. Retrieved from: http://www.valentino.com/experience/en/ maison/maison/

•Vogue (2012) Valentinos designs after retirement. Retrieved from: http:// www.vogue.co.uk/article/ valentino-biography

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•Vogue (2012) Neiman Marcus Award. Retrieved from: http://www.vogue.co.uk/ article/valentino-biography

•Vogue (2012) Academie Valentino. Retrieved from: http://www.vogue.co.uk/ article/valentino-biography

•Valentino (2016) Pierpaolo becomes sole director. Retrieved from: http://www. valentino.com/experience/en/maison/ maison/

•Fashion Model Directory (2016) Valentino in the luxury market. Retrieved from: http://www.fashionmodeldirectory.com/ brands/valentino/

•Uk Essays (2015) Brand Promises. Retrieved from: https://www.ukessays.com/ essays/marketing/the-branding-luxury-brand-valentino-marketing-essay.php

•Best management report blog (2016) Client base. Retrieved from: http:// best-management-articles.blogspot. co.uk/2016/01/analysis-of-prada-burberry-chanel-and.html

•Stevenson. NJ. (2011). The Chronology of Fashion: Valentino’s dresses. A&C Black Publishers Limited (2011): Jason Hook

•Mendes. V & Haye. A. (2010) Fashion since 1900: Master of this genre (new edition). Thames and Hudson Limited

•Fogg. M. (2013) Fashion: The Whole Story: Valentinos red dresses. Quintessence Editions Limited: Mark Fletcher

•Mintel Academic (2016) Use of social media. Retrieved from: http://academic.mintel.com/display/771376/?highlight#hit1

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