Archive for December 20th, 2010
Hi there! I hope you still have some space for fashion speech between Christmas presents and dinner menu!
Today, I would like to share some thoughts about an interesting/surprising/colorful company named… Desigual. I am sure that many of you may be familiar with this brand, which is exploding in many international markets.
On Thursday, Desigual was rewarded with the 11th Prix Pyrénées by the French Chamber of Commerce in Barcelona (1). This award celebrates the huge expansion of Desigual into the French market, France being the first exportation market of the brand. Desigual’s presence in France largely increased in the past months notably with the opening of a 12.000 sq. foot store located Rue de Rivoli in Paris as well as other boutiques in French cities like Lyon, Bordeaux and Nice. 17% of the brand’s €450 million sales is done in France and the Catalan brand estimates that the French market can support 120 more stores in the years to come (2).
Let’s try to see in details what’s behind Desigual and what makes it so successful.
The company was created in 1984 by the Swiss Thomas Meyer. In the early eighties, the 20-year old Meyer was working on his own as a fashion salesman on Ibiza Island. Sales were low and he had lots of unsold pants that he needed to get rid of. He then had the best idea of cuting and combining the different materials to create new patchwork clothes.
Although international success was not around the corner yet, the concept of Desigual was born and the company was created a few years later (3). Breaking aesthetics, prints and patchwork mix and match are the foundation of Desigual’s designs.
Desigual’s target is not to dress bodies but real persons with their personalities (women, men and children) from 0 to 100 years old.
It wants its products to be fun, colorful, lively, comfortable and optimistic.
Desigual’s products do not look alike any other products on the market. It’s refreshing, creatively interesting, with many unexpected details.
Thomas Meyer leads a team of 40 designers, who all work together on the collections. Each year a theme is defined and each collection derives from this theme. “La vida es chula” (Life is great), “Better and better” and “Me and you” are some themes used in the past.
Desigual is a company surfing on many diverse distribution channels.
Desigual owns a few of its stores in key locations. It then relies on franchises to open its other stores.
Desigual also sells through corners in department stores (Corte Inglés, Macy’s, Galerie Lafayette…) and multi-brand retailers.
Lastly, the online store was launched in September in France, Spain, U.K., Germany and the Netherlands. If the logistics test is positive, the online store will be expanded to additional countries.
As of today, Desigual is sold in around 8000 locations in more than 70 countries.
Desigual relies on many communication tools and is a specialist in unexpected events whether it is the worldwide Kiss Tour Party (where participants are asked to kiss each other’s cheeks wearing Desigual tee-shirt) or the “come in your underwear, get a free outfit” event (where half naked people are queuing from dawn to get free clothes).
What a new way to communicate on your brand and products, isn’t it?
Feel free to let us know what you think about this unequal brand, I am curious!
Enjoy the holidays!