March 6, 2009
According to Dior president and chief executive officer Sidney Toledano, the crisis will only speed up a trend the French firm already spied: a widening gulf between ultraluxury players and also-rans.
“What we have done the last two years is consolidate our position at the summit of the luxury pyramid,” Toledano said. “It was the right choice. You either choose to be at the top, or down.”
Dior was prescient in another way: In marking its 60th anniversary last year, the fashion house and its couturier, John Galliano, tuned into the house’s codes — from the famous “bar” jacket to the cane-work print — and turned up the volume on its heritage via products and advertising. In the midst of a glut of “It” bags and shoes, “we were foreseeing that the customer might be saturated with the offer, and that they would at one point return to the strong players,” Toledano said in an interview in Dior’s stately gray offices on the Avenue Montaigne. “I think the crisis will accelerate this momentum.” [Read more]