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Image: Gucci

The utterly explosive growth of Gucci under the direction of quirky creative Alessandro Michele has slowed, but the still-significant demand for Kering’s thriving marquee Italian label helped the Paris-based conglomerate beat revenue forecasts for the first three months of the year and deliver what it is calling “a solid start to 2019.” Reuters notes that Gucci’s 20 percent growth in revenue for Q1 to $2.63 billion – down from 28 percent for 2018’s Q4 – “still beat the pace of rivals, including LVMH’s Louis Vuitton,” which released Q1 results last week.

Gucci’s slowing growth – one of the most notable takeaways from the group’s Q1 results, given that the nearly 100 year old brand accounts for as much as 80 percent of parent company Kering’s earnings – is not worrying the Kering powers-that-be, which stated on Wednesday that “Gucci will naturally expand at a less breakneck pace over time after it more than doubled in size over the past four years, with annual sales reaching more than 8 billion euros ($9 billion).” The brand is “adding to its product lines with items like homewares and by branching out into cosmetics as part of plans to keep growing,” per Reuters.

Kering, which breaks down the revenues for its biggest brands, revealed that its Yves Saint Laurent brand reported revenues of $562.05 million for the first quarter of 2019, up 17.5 percent on a comparable basis (i.e., the percentage without considering the effect of currency fluctuations), while Bottega Veneta, in the midst of a revamp under newly-appointed creative director Daniel Lee, brought in $280.26 million in the first quarter revenue, a drop of 8.9 percent.