« I think we are a lot smaller that a lot of people think we actually are financially. »
Before starting GANNI, Ditte held different position from sales representative to buyers which give her a very good insight of what customers want. Nicolas held technical positions and co-founded several companies, including Oryx Invest and Spleak Media Network Ltd.
The high-end brand wants to break the overly minimalist codes of the Scandinavian spirit and wants to seduce fashionable women with strong pieces. The brand represents a strong woman who has confidence in herself, offers everyday pieces, easy to wear, chic and comfortable.
The brand has always been very picky at choosing at the retailers they work with.
« We have an accessible product price range (The prices are between 150 and 300$) but with a luxury distribution strategy. »
Nicolaj obsession for sustainability coupled gave GANNI a real desire to be environmentally friendly and minimize its energy consumption, chemicals and CO2 emissions in its manufacturing process. However, the brand does not wish to claim or present itself as an "eco responsible brand" but as a brand that does the best it can.
« Sometime the problem is that the topic is so complex that there is no right or wrong answer. »
In 2017, a 51% stake in Ganni was sold to L Catterton, the consumer-focused private equity firm whose shareholders include LVMH. In that year, GANNI had sales of approximately $50 million. The following year, Nicolaj resigned as CEO and was replaced by Andrea Baldo de Coccinelle. Nicolaj will now be able to focus on long-term brand strategy.
In this episode we are covering a lot of topics, we come back on their pathway before GANNI, how did everything started at GANNI and what they take from their previous experiences in tech.
« We have a very flat hierarchy, its less about authority and title, it is more about the best skills, the smartest guy on the block, it is also about bringing on board talent when you come across it. We have scrub meetings (10/15 min meeting, 1 min to tell what you did yesterday and what you do today) and so on... »
We also cover distribution and communication strategies and they come back on the 2 or 3 things that gave GANNI global awareness.
Of course we talk a lot about sustainability, we cover topics such as how to manage the contradiction of being in the fashion business when you are such aware of the climate change issue, how to be a responsible brand, how they use the carbon compensation as a tool to monitor and improve the results of their sustainable strategy, how to aligned design and sustainability when it comes to fabric choices, how to absorbe the extra cost of sustainable fabric.
« We compensate our carbon foot print, but we are very careful not to think of that as a way to kind of paying indulgence, just paying to do bad, we always thought of it as a tax you put on yourself like the carbon tax no politician had the guts to impose on us. To make it tangible, you can navigate toward that, and try to reduce it. »
We also talk about their daily organisation, how they see the future of GANNI and we talk about how do they balance their personal and professional life as a couple in charge of such a big organization.
This episode full of tips, tricks and the experience of the two fashion entrepreneurs !
I strongly thanks Nicolaj & Ditte Reffstrup for their transparency and generosity, and I invite you to do the same on their social networks, because it is a great gift they are giving us today.
I thank Mehrie and Guillaume from DLX who make this episode possible.
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