“I spend most of my time saying no,” laughs Mark Lee, CEO of Gucci, one of the most iconic luxury brands in the world. He receives some absurd offers (like outsourcing) every day. But being at the helm of a proud brand, he has to turn them all down. Today, Gucci is a highly streamlined fashion house that prides itself on its all-Italian heritage, from manufacturing to design. With stores in Delhi and Mumbai and one in Bangalore opening soon, is India ready for Gucci? Mark Lee won’t say no to that.
The Gucci story
Though the lustre faded a bit in the ‘80s, Gucci came storming back onto the catwalks and high streets in the mid-’90s, thanks to then Creative Director Tom Ford, who plotted its rebirth as the epitome of jet-set decadence. And if Gucci is making waves on the catwalk, it has also been posting record turnovers over the last three years, powered by the traditional canvas bags, leather goods, and now, a ready-to-wear line. Not bad for an 87-year-old.
A Gucci dresser
Know your CEO
A Californian by birth (you probably know that), here are a few things about Mark Lee you might not know:
Favourite Music: Singers like Aretha Franklin and Alicia Keys. Loves Soul music
Favourite Film: Casablanca. When asked if it was also because of the clothes, he grins. “Let’s keep fashion out of the movies”
Favourite Cuisine: Loves spicy food
Favourite Mantra: Brand is king!
Available at: The Gucci Store, The Oberoi, Delhi, and Galleria, Hilton Towers, Mumbai