Dozens of staff at Italian trend home Gucci staged a strike on Monday to protest the corporate’s resolution to maneuver its design workplace from Rome to Milan.
Though a Gucci spokesperson instructed CNN the proposed relocation “doesn’t contain any employees reductions,” a regional department of labor union CGIL described the transfer as “disguised collective redundancy.”
Writing on its web site final week, the union mentioned the transfer “conceals the will to quickly stop all exercise in Rome.” A later put up was accompanied by photographs from Monday’s demonstration in Rome, the place protesters held placards with messages together with “Gucci cuts however doesn’t sew.”
The choice, which the corporate mentioned it communicated to unions in October, impacts 153 of the design workplace’s 219 Rome-based staff. CGIL has argued that asking employees to maneuver to Milan, roughly 300 miles north of the capital, within the first half of 2024 was tantamount to laying them off.
Gucci’s spokesperson mentioned that the relocation means its artistic director and designers will “have the chance to collaborate carefully with the strategic capabilities of the corporate” already based mostly in Milan, “maximizing the required interactions and synergies.”
The assertion added that the model is providing “financial incentives and lively assist …extra favorable than these stipulated within the Italian nationwide collective settlement.”
Following the departure of artistic director Alessandro Michele in 2022, Gucci proprietor Kering shook up the label’s prime administration. The corporate appointed former Valentino designer Sabato De Sarno as its new artistic director in January this 12 months, whereas in August, Kering introduced that CEO Marco Bizzarri was leaving the corporate, placing Jean-François Palus, who beforehand served as Kering’s managing director, within the prime job.
Kering, which additionally owns Yves Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta and Balenciaga, mentioned on the time Palus was “tasked with strengthening Gucci’s groups and operations” to rebuild the Italian model’s “affect and momentum.”
Gucci is Kering’s largest model, accounting for simply over half of the French conglomerate’s $22 billion income final 12 months.
Whereas gross sales of luxurious items have been on a tear earlier within the 12 months, the market cooled within the second half of 2023. Following three years of bumper income fueled by pent-up client demand put up pandemic, Kering reported a larger-than-expected 9% drop in gross sales final quarter, underperforming its rivals amid a slowing urge for food for high-end clothes and niknaks.
With De Sarno on the helm, Gucci unveiled a new collection dubbed “Gucci Ancora” (an Italian phrase which means each “nonetheless” and “once more”) in September to a star-studded crowd in Milan together with Julia Roberts, Ryan Gosling, Jessica Chastain, Kendall Jenner and Julia Garner.
The designer gave the outdated Gucci codes a refresh sending babydoll clothes, tailor-made brief fits, fringed skirts, hoodies and bejeweled knitwear down the runway.