One word. Angels. If you, like me, associate the brand Fiorucci with the little cherub angels that appeared on the front of many tween girl’s t-shirts in the 90’s, then boy are you in for a treat. This iconic brand that was never seen as ‘cool’ but rather seen as ‘sweet’, disappeared in a flash come the mid 2000’s, but now they are back baby. And wow, have they made a comeback. The question that many are asking is how, why and who is behind this revival? How has a brand that was once stocked only in Myer and bought by Mum’s for their daughters, come back in the form of skin-tight blue PVC pants, cut off mid-drifts and short shorts? Not to mention securing Georgia-May Jagger as their postergirl.
I first found out about Fiorucci’s comeback when I was scrolling through Instagram (surprise surprise) and came across this sleek, sexy, bright, all-round aesthetically pleasing, perfectly curated page that made me want more. Upon further investigation and more scrolling like a maniac, I came to discover that, OMG! This is THE Fiorucci. The Fiorucci that my primary school bestie used to constantly wear most weekends and the Fiorucci that I went on to tease her about still wearing in high school. Well that daggy angel shirt she used to wear is now being worn by the likes of Kendall Jenner and Gigi and Bella Hadid in 2017. So, what exactly has Fiorucci done so well to turn around their brand so successfully after being dormant for over a decade? And who are the geniuses behind this? More importantly, what can other brands learn from this brands success?
I recently attended an event in which Yasmin Sewell (renowned figure in the fashion world and all round legend) was speaking at, and I had the pleasure of asking her about Fiorucci’s comeback and her thoughts on how they got it so right? And her response was simple – timing. The owners saw an opportunity to buy and relaunch this brand with a strong brand strategy in place to ensure it would be successful from the very beginning. They carefully positioned the brand as youthful, wacky, resilient and feminine, with a hint of sexy carefreeness.
It goes without saying that I have become fascinated with this brands’ revival, so upon researching constantly and getting myself into many ‘Google rabbit holes’, I discovered that this brand wasn’t exactly the daggy younger cousin I once thought it was. It was launched way back in 1967 by Elio Fiorucci, where he began exporting London’s Swinging Sixties aesthetic to Italian customers. And would you believe, the pop art king himself Andy Warhol, set up Interview magazine in Fiorucci’s New York store in the 70’s. I guess it turns out that Fiorucci wasn’t the daggy cousin after all.
With all this in mind, the below points summarise what brands can learn from this iconic fashion brand’s revival:
- Be hyper relevant. Fiorucci relaunched in the right place at the right time. Their relevance within today’s ever-changing landscape is key to their success. Not to mention the way the brand has adapted to meet new expectations.
- Be agile. Fiorucci saw an opportunity to leap back into the market when they saw the right factors aligning. It’s clear that brand alignment to what is currently on trend (with the help of the rise of social media) is another key to success. Brands need to have the agility to make fast decisions based on cultural shifts. Or, they just need to be lucky. The saying goes “it’s better to be lucky than good” right?
- Know your audience. Fiorucci know they are not a brand for everyone. They know exactly who their target audience is and they talk their language and only their language. If your audience respond well to visual language, then the key is to speak to them in visual language. But don’t undermine their intelligence!
- Be inclusive. Learn to be part of their world. Be present in environments they trust, respect and connect with. What do you stand for in their lives? If you’re leveraging one of their passions you must have a reason for being there.
- Have the ability to influence. Don’t just provide a service or a product. Strong brands influence all aspects of consumers lifestyles. They want to be sold ideas, not images. Consider; technology, food, the world and its cultures.