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Black Is Back At YSL

March 9th, 2009 No Comments

Link: Black Is Back At YSL

I did a double take when I saw this headline on the front page of the Financial Times today.  

Not only was I pleased to hear one of my favorite brands is moving on up, but I was also curious to see how they dug themselves out of a decade of debt. ::

It was 10 years ago Tom Ford acquired YSL for Gucci Group to revamp the brand.  But when he failed to make the collection more appealing to a younger customer, I really thought the brand would go under.  I mean, if the king of sexy couldn’t save you….

Now, with Ford long gone, YSL breaks even…in a recession no less.  Holy Halston, how did they do it?  According to CEO Valerie Hermann (in this article), the money flux was due to the high margin on their leather goods (oh that makes us feel better) and the sale of YSL’s Beaute to Loreal.  So basically, they are admitting to screwing over their customers and selling off the dying horse.  Well done I guess.

For more details, click the link to read the whole article. It sounds like Hermann has a good head on her shoulders.

Unfortunately other struggling brands won’t find the same solutions according to Michel Dyens, chairman of the investment bank Michel Dyens & Co.  In the article he says, “It is so hard to revive an old brand, and costs so much money, that I think it will become less and less attractive in the current climate. YSL is really an exceptional case.”