Michele Norsa, the first non-family chief executive of Italian fashion house Salvatore Ferragamo, always carries an amber stone in his left-hand trouser pocket. The reason, is "to bring good luck, as I am superstitious". Perhaps we should all be taking to the amber stone too in these times.
Ferragamo who have forged ahead with strong expansion into the Asian markets will continue do so, however have reduced their rate of expansion. Many of the truisms of 'what differentiates a luxury brand from others' such as history, quality and rarity are Snr Norsa's maxims and some getting-back-to basics-advice relevant to these challenging times is to maximise the opportunity and simplify the business, are worthy of a read in today's Financial Times online.
Overall, he argues, recession is an opportunity for his industry to "simplify sales" and purge the excesses of the boom years. Mr Norsa welcomes signs that "the industry is now really moving in the same direction"; he and his counterparts have "perhaps for the first time" been comparing notes on how to respond to a changing marketplace. And he has plenty to say in that debate. Read more...
Amongst many pearls (or amber stones) of wisdom, he say that "Fashion buyers, will not desert luxury brands but will instead spend less, but on the best".