An international fashion company founded in Barcelona in 1984, Desigual creates unique garments that inspire people and invite them to celebrate their authenticity in any moment and situation. Here, RLI sits down with company COO David Meire to discuss the evolution of the company and what the next steps are.
Desigual design clothes that can really change the mood of the people who wear them. They create unique, colourful, upbeat and original items because they believe that clothes can make a statement and are a fantastic way to tell a story. The company’s daily challenge is turning an idea, a dream or a message into a collection that makes its customers feel good. They do this with love, great attention to detail and without leaving anything to chance. Desigual embraces inclusive fashion and inspire everyone to dress freely, and always with a positive attitude.
The brand currently has a presence in almost 100 countries through 13 distribution channels. These avenues include their own retail stores, outlet stores and franchise stores along with multi-brand stores, travel retail locations and specialised stores. Online, Desigual’s digital marketplaces include its own online store along with specific marketplaces. In total, the company has over 500 of its own stores and franchise locations.
“The past months for us have been fundamental in our quest to build a new brand image, one that we are continuing to work on in order to inspire our customers with a relevant message and image that, as our message states, celebrates authenticity through unique creations,” explains David Meire, COO of Desigual. “The most recent campaign that launched was Share the Power, which is a call to place value on each person’s individual power and to celebrate the differences that make us all equal.”
Back in 2015, the company launched a Transformation Plan which is set to be achieved by 2020. The goal of the plan is to evolve towards a 100 per cent consumer-centric business model. To date, Desigual has progressed through this process, laying the foundation for #aNewDesigual with three key pillars:
Product – With the goal of offering customers more new products within a single season, they’ve started innovating up to 25 per cent of its collection on a monthly basis, as well as updating its prints, motifs and designs to order to continue reaching its customers. Brand – Desigual has chosen an important message for its campaign, Share the Power, which celebrates the differences that we all have in common. Distribution Network – In recent months, the brand has performed a profound streamlining process of its distribution network with the goal of achieving an optimal network of shops, which to Desigual means maintaining a presence with properly-sized establishments and being located in the best trade zones of key cities, something that can only be achieved through new openings, closures, relocations and re-stylings.
“Our 2018 openings have mainly focused on Latin America, a highly strategic market with excellent growth potential, which we will combine with key openings that will allow us to consolidate our omni-channel presence. In other words, this will enable us to have an optimal distribution network, and to analyse in which channels we need to be present in each geographic region.” Looking ahead, Desigual’s geographic expansion involves growing in strategic markets where there is significant potential for growth, particularly Latin America and Japan. So with a fast-growing brand, how does the company develop new products and maintain these to remain a brand on the rise?
“OUR GOAL IS TO BE MORE DESIGUAL THAN EVER BEFORE BY OFFERING OUR LOYAL CUSTOMERS AN INNOVATIVE PRODUCT RANGE, WHILE STILL ATTRACTING NEW CUSTOMERS WITH NEW DESIGNS AND TRENDS ADAPTED TO THE DESIGUAL UNIVERSE.”
“The key has always been to offer a differentiated product that transmits an attitude towards life. Our brand was created on the basis of this proposal and more than 30 years later we remain faithful to our origins.”
“Our goal is to be more Desigual than ever before by offering our loyal customers an innovative product offering, while still attracting new customers with new designs and trends adapted to the Desigual universe. Simultaneously, we aim to continue maintaining our value proposal with clothes that transmit vitality and non-conformity with campaigns that connect customers through messages and actions that are relevant to them,” says Meire.
While many companies may see social media as purely another revenue stream, this is not the case for Desigual who see it as a way of building a brand and having a conversation
with its customers, whilst giving a voice to the collaborators with whom they share their values. The main output on social media is Instagram, as the platform allows the brand to express its visual personality and connect with a target audience that is acutely attuned to fashion. So what is the target customer and what differentiates Desigual?