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Gucci, widely popular as a luxury brand is an Italian fashion house. Since its rise, Gucci has been a favorite among celebrities, fashion enthusiasts, and influential people like first ladies for their classic style and fashionable designs. According to Forbes, Gucci is currently ranked 31st on the list of the world’s most valuable brands.
According to another Forbes source, Gucci with a net worth of 22.5 billion is the second most luxurious brand in the world right after Louis Vuitton. However, besides being a popular luxury brand the higher brand value and exclusivity have made Gucci quite expensive as well. A Diana small crocodile tote bag from Gucci costs $35,000. But what are the reasons for Gucci’s products being so expensive?
Overview of Gucci
The founder of Gucci, Guccio Gucci was born in 1881 in Florence, Italy. Early in his career, he was employed at the Savoy Hotel in London as a Bellboy. During his time in the savoy hotel, inspired by the elegant design of luggage and bags of the aristocratic guests arriving
at the hotel from all around the world, Giono’s vision was to set up his own luggage manufacturing company. As a result, when he returned to Italy in 1902, he started working for a luggage-making company called Franzi, where besides luggage making he also learned crafting. Later, in 1921, at the age of 40, he founded his first shop, The House of Gucci,
in Florence, Italy. In the early years, Gucci mainly produced saddles, leather bags, and other accessories for horsemen. Having achieved immense popularity in this sector for several years, Guccio decided to expand his product line by manufacturing premium quality knitwear, silk wear, handbags, shoes, and accessories. Gucci’s success in the new lineup in a short time led to the launch of the brand’s first official outlet in Rome in 1936. In the same year 3 Gucci’s sons, Aldo, Vasco, and Rodolfo, joined the company and launched another outlet of the brand in Rome’s Via Condotti. Currently, Gucci has 483 outlets in different locations across the world.
According to Forbes, in 2020, Gucci generated $10.6 billion in revenue. Gucci’s product portfolio includes varieties of products from the various range like Lifestyle & Decor, Beauty & Accessories, Children’s Wear & Menswear. Among some of the notable expensive Gucci, items are a Gucci sequin dress costing $12,900 dollars, a Gucci Biker Jacket costing $18,650, and a Gucci Soft Stirrup Black Crocodile Shoulder Bag costing $30,000. However, these are not even close to the most expensive Gucci item. Which is GUCCI’s iconic Stuart Hughes Belt, with a staggering price tag of $250,000. But why are Gucci’s products so expensive?
Why So Expensive?
Gucci hires renowned top-notch designers like Tom Ford, Alessandro Michele, and Frida Giannini to design their products. These designers have a good idea of the current ongoing trends and the taste and preferences of Gucci’s elite class and celebrity customers. In addition, top designers like them do extensive research on a variety of materials for product design accuracy, and quality maintenance, and experiment with different design patterns, which is quite time-consuming.
Basically, Gucci has to invest a lot in product design to hire experienced and highly paid designers to design their products. According to Querypulse, Every year in R&D alone, Gucci spends $114 million. This is one of the reasons why Gucci’s products are so expensive.
Besides bamboo and leather, Gucci uses high-quality materials like skins of rare and exotic animals. Sourcing the leather of these exotic animals like crocodiles, pythons, ostriches, and anacondas is a time-consuming and costly process. In addition, all these rare and expensive materials have to be processed in different ways to retain their lucrative look, luxury, and aesthetics. Which is a very expensive process and also affects the pricing of Gucci’s products.
After the product design is finalized, all these exotic materials have to be carefully handled and hand-crafted in the production process. Although machines are used to make many of Gucci’s products, some parts of the production are hand-stitched by expert craftsmen. Starting from sourcing materials, processing, and handcrafting each individual part of the production is labor intensive, time-consuming, and requires a skilled workforce, which makes the whole process of product development quite expensive.
Besides being exclusive and premium, Gucci has a reputation for producing quality products. If handled with care some Gucci products can last a lifetime. To ensure the durability and quality of each of Gucci’s products, the products are run through the Intensive Quality Control Procedure.
Since many parts of the products are handcrafted, Gucci is very cautious about their quality. The brand ensures that the shape, zip, and stitching of each product are identical. Some Gucci bags have to go through as many as 100 to 300 steps to ensure quality. As a result, Gucci’s products are much more durable and long-lasting.
Despite the high demand for Gucci’s products among other luxury brands, the company produces a certain number of all their products. To maintain the demand for the products and to avoid counterfeiting of this limited number of products, the company produces the products themself.
In addition, Gucci burns all the unsold products at the end of each year. As a result, Gucci has been able to retain the exclusive image of its product in the market. Gucci has a segment called “GUCCI DIY” that allows customers to design personalized products.
Gucci spends a lot of money on celebrity endorsements in advertising and marketing. Their global ambassadors include Celebrities like Harry Styles, Kai, Lana Del Rey, and Jared Leto from the K-pop group Exo. In addition, Lee Jung-Jae, The Squid Games fame Korean actor, was chosen as Gucci’s Global Ambassador in 2021.
On the other hand, to launch their new collections Gucci arranges high-profile lavish fashion shows two to three times a year in popular locations like Paris and New York. The guest list of these fashion shows includes the world’s biggest celebrities and aristocratic personalities from around the world. Arranging such lavish fashion shows requires a huge budget.
In addition, in marketing, Gucci chooses events where their target customers will be present, such as wine-tasting shows, polo games, vintage, car rallies, and even various art shows. The company has to invest a lot in marketing for such events. According to IG Worldwide Models, Gucci spent about $100 million on digital and print media in the advertising sector in 2021
As a luxury brand, Gucci’s primarily targeted customers are the elite, wealthy, and influential class customers. And in order to attract and serve these customers, Gucci’s outlets need to be a true representation of luxury and class. As a result, the interiors of Gucci outlets are exquisite and expensive. Besides this, the brand’s outlets are usually located in the busiest areas of the city. Gucci’s largest outlet located in Manhattan, the heart of New York City, is a popular tourist attraction.