House of Gucci has made its way to theaters after months of marketing and seemingly endless media reports, including ones that have suggested that at least some Gucci family members are none too happy about the “ugly” casting choices and have explored potential avenues for litigation over fictionalized elements of the plot – there certainly are some of those. Not merely the latest cinematic take on a famous fashion industry story (FX’s take on murder of Gianni Versace comes to mind), the film, which earned $1.3 million in preview showings on Tuesday, is expected to help accelerate Gucci’s sales at a time when the Italian fashion brand could use the boost.
The timing of the film’s release coincides with Gucci parent company Kering’s report that sales for its biggest brand grew by just 3.8 percent during Q3, missing analyst expectations. Bernstein analyst Luca Solca went to say as to quip that “the Gucci party is postponed,” stating the 100-year-old brand “continues to be behind mega-brand peers, despite easier comps.” The brand’s slowing sales during the third quarter of the year put Kering’s small brands, namely, Saint Laurent and Bottega Veneta, in the spotlight, while also raising questions about how the French luxury goods conglomerate would regain growth for its marquee brand.
House of Gucci has almost certainly been factored into the equation. After all, analysts have been quick to predict that the Ridley Scott-directed film starring Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Jared Leto, and Al Pacino, among others – which is predicted to generate $17 million to $20 million in ticket sales between Wednesday and Sunday, alone – paired with the complete arrival of Gucci’s “Hacker” collection with Balenciaga in stores for Q4, will serve to drive interest in and demand for the Gucci brand and its wares.
Not everyone is convinced that the film will work magic, though. At least some commentators have questioned whether the film will really make prompt consumers to splash out on Gucci garments and accessories at least in part because it centers on a Gucci of a different era. I, for one, am not sure that will stand in the way of Gucci reaping benefits from the film given the role that carry-over products play for Kering. Earlier this year, Kering management revealed that Gucci’s “leather goods carry-over lines make up 70-75 percent of [the brand’s total] sales,” and pointed to the house’s relaunch of the Jackie 1961 for Fall/Winter 2020, and a reintroduction of the Bamboo as examples of such carry-over goods. With this in mind, the film very well might serve to boost sales of particularly iconic Gucci goods.
Gucci’s new Vault venture is potentially perfectly timed not just for the enduring demand for pre-owned luxury goods that consumers are demonstrating, especially during this supply-challenged holiday season, but the Vault – which Gucci has described as a “new experimental online space” that includes a peak into “the history of various vintage Gucci looks” and the opportunity to shop “vintage pre-owned items from its history,” all curated by creative director Alessandro Michele – also presents an opportunity for the brand to play into the fanfare surrounding the film by way of hand-selected retro pieces. This is one of the core value propositions of the Vault, which made its debut this fall.
It is also worth noting that the House of Gucci film comes as the brand – which has not shied from the film, loaning archival pieces to costume designer Janty Yates, allowing for scenes to be shot in one of its Milan outposts, and more recently, posting still-shots from in on its heavily-followed Instagram account – has been working to balance an “always-on pace of new additions that create constant excitement for customers” with the reintroduction of iconic house staples in furtherance of its larger product and revenue strategy. A nod to branded legacy pieces, or “spotlight-hogging period Gucci clothes,” as the Wall Street Journal put it, and the insight into the brand’s history that the film provides could only help to push at least part of that equation. (This is true even if the film ties the Gucci family to an inherently unsavory murder-for-hire plot.)
As for the impact that the film could have on searches and sales, it is still early days, but nonetheless, e-commerce platform lovethesales is reporting a more than 250 percent spike in searches for Gucci bags for this past week. While the spike in interest could, of course, be impacted by holiday shopping trends, the launch of the film could be playing a role. Interest in Gucci in connection with the film may have also prompted the steady rise in Google searches for the brand in the U.S. over the past 30 days.
As for a group of players that stands to benefit significantly from the House of Gucci, it is easy to imagine that resale platforms will see a rise in search and buying activity, as is often the case following brand-specific events. “At it’s best, this film is a dream for vintage Gucci freaks,” and resellers, alike, Forbes’ Nadja Sayej wrote this week. Consumers will likely be “looking back to the 1970s and 1980s for key pieces to snag today on secondhand websites, as the film features a number of Gucci handbags throughout the film, including the Gucci Jackie vintage cloth handbag, the Gucci Jackie Bardot vintage handbag, among others.”
Unsurprisingly pre-owned players are well aware of this, and seemingly angling to play on the momentum of the film. The likes of Resellers like TheRealReal, rebag, and Vestiaire Collective, among others, have been dedicating social media posts – and prime space on their websites, in some cases – to their Gucci wares over the past week.