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GOOD VIBRATIONS: “Someone once said, ‘Never let a good recession go to waste.’ Fortunately none of us has done that,” Saks Inc. chairman and chief executive officer Stephen Sadove told a roomful of Italian fashion executives Friday night at the cocktail it hosted with WSJ magazine at the Villa Necchi Campiglio.
Among them were Gabriella Forte, Robert Polet, Massimo Ferretti, Santo Versace, Michele Norsa, Umberto Angeloni, Mario Boselli, Andrea Ciccoli, Michela Piva and Antonella De Simone.
While some brand leaders said privately there were tensions with retailers, predominantly over price, they approved of Sadove’s take on the new consumer. “The focus is on quality, value and design. It’s not one of these. It’s all three,” Sadove said. Brioni’s De Simone underscored the mood. “You need to be optimistic,” she said. Gianfranco Ferre designers Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi certainly were, particularly about the future of the storied label, which is among assets parent company IT Holding SpA, which is in government-backed administration, has put up for sale. “We’re confident,” Rimondi said. “But there’s no time to relax yet. We have our own show to worry about. We’re running on adrenalin.” Aquilano.Rimondi shows on Sunday.