High Luxury Fashion Management Essay
This paper compares two high-end fashion stores based on various aspects. The fashion stores chosen are Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman. For better comparison, a shoe brand and a handbag brand have to be chosen and compared respectively. The shoe brand chosen is Valentino sneakers. Both Saks and Bergdorf offer Valentino sneakers in their stores. However, Bergdorf offers more floor space to the shoe brand compared to Saks. For the type of counter space employed, both stores are the same. Each store uses the shoe-in-glass design of counter space. Given the higher amount of floor space given to Valentino sneakers by Bergdorf, the store offers more types of the sneakers than Saks. In fact, Bergdorf offers all the available types of Valentino sneakers .
The materials and fabrications used in both stores more or less depend on the brand of shoes. The standard materials used include soft leather, synthetic leather, and canvas. There are more types of shoes in Bergdorf than Saks. To be specific, Bergdorf offers all types of low-top sneakers as opposed to Saks. Saks mostly offers rockrunner sneakers. While Saks favors bright colors of sneakers such as white and gray, Bergdorf offers sneakers of all colors in equal amounts. The prices of the shoes are similar in both stores. However, each store seems to have a different price structure depending on demand for a specific type of shoes. The low-top sneakers are the most favored given that they are light and comfortable to wear in the city. In summary, Saks and Bergdorf are direct competitors as far as sneakers are concerned. They offer similar products to the same group of people. However, Valentino sneakers are more demanded in Bergdorf as evidenced by the bigger space provided to the brand.
As for the handbags, Bottega Veneta handbags were chosen for comparison purposes. Bottega Veneta is a premium brand offering a wide range of fashion items. When comparing the two stores, it was found that Bergdorf Goodman offers 142 types of handbags compared to only 50 by Saks Fifth Avenue. Bergdorf, therefore, gives more space to the handbag brands. Like in the case with the shoes, Bottega Veneta handbags in both stores are put behind clear glass to be easily viewed by customers. Bergdorf presented all the major product presentation styles including giving of offers on certain handbags. The only type of offer given in Saks was that of buying three bags at the price of two. The bags found in Bergdorf are made of faux fur, leather and suede, linen, polyester fabrics and their blends, rayon, silk, tapestry, velvet, and velveteen. Saks did not have bags made of rayon and velvet.
Bergdorf offered, among many other styles, A-shaped woven tote bags and small pillow woven cross body bags. Saks focused more on hobo bags. Both stores, however, focused on the major feminine colors such as pink, beige, blue and black in their various versions. The color emphasis did not make a big difference between the stores. The price structure was based more on the manufacturer (or designer) than on a particular store. However, given that both stores offered products to the upper class, the prices were relatively higher than bags of other brands offered in other stores. Both Saks and Bergdorf offer high-quality products and customer services. They also ship goods to locations outside the United States. They both record high levels of customer demand given that New York has the highest concentration of high-class people.
Besides the differences in the amount of floor space given to each premium brand, both stores have almost similar methods of presentation of their products. Having visited the two stores, it was concluded that Bergdorf had a bigger selection of both Bottega Veneta Handbags and Valentino sneaker shoes as compared to Saks. However, Saks had better customer service. First of all, Bergdorf Goodman has a bigger store in general in New York. Thus, it can afford to give more space to both Bottega Veneta Handbags and Valentino sneaker shoes. Besides, the two brands are among the most sought after in the luxury fashion realm. Though not based on facts, Bergdorf can be said to be making more from its sales of Bottega Handbags and Valentino sneakers. Of the two items selected, the most demanded items in both stores are Bottega Veneta handbags. The handbags are favored for their high quality and unique design. In both stores there were more loyal and return customers in regard to handbags as compared to Valentino sneakers
The presentation of the two products, as stated above, is almost similar. Bottega Veneta handbags and Valentino sneakers are placed in glass stands. An interested customer can ask to touch the products as a way of deciding whether he/she wants to buy them or not. Besides, some highly-priced handbags had offers attached to them to encourage customers to buy them. During a conversation, a department manager stated that Valentino low-top sneakers were highly favored for various reasons. First of all, they were fairly priced. Secondly, they were light as city life requires brisk walking. Thirdly, they lasted long and could be used for various purposes such as jogging and days out with families.
The reason why Saks is considered to have better customer service was that while at the store, a sales associate approached the author asking if she could be of any help. The author took that opportunity to gauge the real quality of customer service in the store. First of all, there were no signs of discrimination against customers in the store as far as their appearance was concerned. In some other luxury stores, prejudgment is made based on the customers` appearance; if a customer is poorly dressed, it could be assumed that he/she is not be able to afford items being sold. Saks (as well as Bergdorf) had none of that. The sales associate in Saks asked questions and answered mine in the politest manner possible. The author endeavored to ask about the types of celebrities who frequented the store regularly. The sales associate stated that they served some famous people including hip hop musicians like Jay-Z and J Cole. They also serve movie actors and actresses the most recent of which were Idris Elba and Kate Beckinsale starring at the Pacific Rim and Underworld respectively.
Given the chance to improve the two stores, the author would majorly increase the campaign advertisements to have a bigger customer base. However, these advertisements should be made cautiously given that premium fashion brands are cheapened whenever they are advertised too much. Besides, it is advisable that the two stores expand their international reach given that rich people have no problem spending a lot of money as long as the product is of high quality. Saks should also endeavor in offering more products either by replacing the poorly-performing brands or opening more stores to offer all the products available. In conclusion, both Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue are among the best fashion stores around the world.
Valentino Garavani was born on May, 11th 1932 in Voghera, Italy. Fashion design was his passion from a young age. He studied it until he started his personal line of clothes in 1959 in Rome. A few years later, thanks to his distinctive talent he became one of the most recognized cloth designers in the world. He became the most favorite designer of many women around the world. One of his most famous customers was Jacqueline Kennedy, the wife of the 35th president of the United States (John Fitzgerald Kennedy). Others include Elizabeth Taylor, Marie-Helene de Rothschild, Queen Paola of Belgium, Begum Aga Khan, and Audrey Hepburn. One of Valentino’s early influencers was his aunt Rosa under whom he worked. Besides her, Valentino worked under several other local designers before his formal training in Paris (Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne and Ecole des Beaux-Arts). His had an apprenticeship with Guy Laroche and Jean Desses before he embarked on a personal career. However, Valentino`s first choice for an apprenticeship was Jacques Fath and then Balenciaga. He attested to have learned a lot from his masters as observed from his borrowing of a few ideas from his teachers.
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Valentino is famous for a distinctive shade of red color known as “Valentino Red”. Valentino left Jean Desses under controversial circumstances and endeavored to make a name for himself in 1959 in Rome. A part of his success is attributed to his first partner Giancarlo Giammetti. Giametti was an architecture student who helped Valentino build his brand and distinctive “Valentino Red”. Valentino gained popularity after having participated in a show in Florence in the Pitti Palace. The show made him famous among the rich and the famous. He quickly became the summit of Italian fashion design. When Valentino moved to New York in the 1970s, he had effectively expanded into the American market following his high profile clients in America. Before his retirement, Valentino had various names under his original house. They included Valentino R.E.D., Valentino Roma, Valentino and Valentino Garavani. All names represent a part of his line of wares serving a specific market. Currently, Valentino is interested in shoes, bags and belts. As a result, Valentino is a household name.
Valentino’s life is very interesting. Now aged 82, Valentino met his wife in 1950 but separated from her in 1972. However, they remained close and maintain homes in various countries including France, Spain and Switzerland. Valentino and Giammetti have filed their homes with art given that it is their ultimate passion. In 1998, Giammetti and Valentino announced their retirement from the fashion industry. They did this by selling off their company for around $300to HdP, an Italian conglomerate. Four years later, HdP sold the company to Marzotto Apparel. The changes in ownership were overseen by Valentino himself since his advice is considered invaluable. As a special way to say goodbye to the fashion industry, Valentino organized a final haute couture in Paris at the Musee Rodin in January 2007. It featured such household names as Eva Herzigova, Claudia Schiffer, and Naomi Campbell. All in all, Valentino’s lines of clothes and shoes have become a household name among the rich and the famous all around the world. Italy is famous for luxury. To make a name in such a market in the same way as Valentino did requires talent and dedication.