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Domenico De Sole – “Doing the Gucci”

On a serious note, Domenico De Sole talks about the luxury industry.

Domenico De Sole is chairman of Tom Ford International, the menswear brand that now includes beauty, accessories, fragrance and footwear. He is a lawyer by training, but made the transition to the fashion business when Gucci — one of his clients — hired him to join the company. That was in 1984.

Over the next 20 years until his departure from Gucci in 2004, he engineered a remarkable turnaround, saving the company from hostile suitors and acquiring such key brands as Yves Saint Laurent and Alexander McQueen. Indeed, in the fashion world, the standard phrase for managing a successful turnaround has become “doing a Gucci.”

Knowledge@Wharton asked De Sole for his perspective on the fashion business in a down economy, the consumer mentality, leadership and other topics.

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