Michael Kors is an American fashion brand that specializes in luxury clothing, footwear, and accessories. The brand is present in over 100 countries and operates in three main sectors: retail, wholesale, and licensing (Annual Report 2016 5). The company’s headquarters are located in New York City, but it also has a chain of offices in other countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom, and more. Michael Kors is a public company with a relatively stable financial performance.
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With 398 stores in the Americas and 429 international stores, it had total annual sales in retail and wholesale of 4,347.9 million USD for the fiscal year ended April 1, 2017 (Annual Report 2016 5). The vast share of annual retail sales – 1,713.7 million USD – was achieved in the Americas, whereas the annual retail sales in Europe were significantly lower, at 507.7 million USD (Annual Report 2016 5).
The brand was created by Michael Kors, who was born in 1959 in New York under the name of Karl Anderson Junior (Michael Kors). In 1977, he enrolled at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York but soon left for a chance to sell his designs at the boutique where he worked at the time (Michael Kors). In 1981, Michael Kors established his own brand, presenting his first collection at the Fifth Avenue department store.
The first Michael Kors catwalk show opened in 1984, and in 1990, the company launched the KORS line (Michael Kors). However, until the 2000s, the brand was predominantly focused on womenswear and accessories, sold in department stores across America. The first menswear collection was released by Michael Kors in 2002, whereas the first mono-brand retail store was opened in 2006 (Michael Kors). Overall, despite being a new brand, Michael Kors has an established reputation for quality and success, which is why it is attractive to customers all over the world.
Michael Kors designs feature a mixture of “stylish elegance and a sporty attitude” (Michael Kors). In womenswear, the brand offers a wide variety of apparel for both casual and evening wear. In a signature Michael Kors look, simple silhouettes are complemented by design features, such as ruffles, metallic fabrics, or lace. The clothes offered by the brand are stylish and comfortable at the same time, and most designs are quite versatile and can be combined with other items from the collection. The brand is also notable for its large collection of handbags, featuring both classic casual leather bags, as well as a variety of clutches and backpacks. The brand’s philosophy is to offer a wide range of high-quality luxury items in the medium price range.
Michael Kors presents a significant threat to Sandro, as it targets a similar market segment. The brand’s key target customer group are young women aged 20-35 who live an active lifestyle and are interested in fashion. Moreover, Michael Kors offers a wider range of clothing and accessories, which earns the brand a significant competitive advantage. The brand is well-established all over the globe and has stores in areas that Sandro is yet to reach. As a result, Michael Kors has higher annual sales, which allows the company to invest in marketing and expansion campaigns. On the whole, Michael Kors is a profitable brand that has an established reputation for the high quality and elegance of its designs, which makes it one of the key competitors of Sandro.
Rag & Bone
Rag & Bone is also an American brand, which produces apparel for men and women. Although Rag & Bone is a private company today, from 2018, it will become part of the Safilo Group, which also includes famous luxury brands like Givenchy, Dior, Fendi, and more. Safilo Group has a retail network in 130 nations, which allows its brand to reach a truly global audience (Safilo Group Annual Report 2016 23). The partnership between Rag & Bone and Safilo Group will last for at least five years beginning January 2018; the key aim of the collaboration is to grow the brand’s market’s coverage in the United States and United Kingdom (Safilo Group Annual Report 2016 33). Thus, Rag & Bone presents a threat to Sandro, particularly if the brand’s strategy is successful.
Rag & Bone was created by Marcus Wainwright and David Neville in 2002 (Associated Press). The brand became one of the finalists in the Vogue Fashion Fund contest in 2006 and won an emerging talent award from the CFDA in 2007, which allowed the founders to attract the attention of both media and the customers (Associated Press). Initially, Rag & Bone was sold in department stores, but in 2008, the brand celebrated the opening of its first mono-brand retail store.
Today, the brand has spread across America, Europe, and Asia, with flagship stores in London, Boston, Los Angeles, Tokyo, and other major destinations (Associated Press). The brand’s new collections are normally presented during New York fashion weeks.
One of the defining characteristics of the brand is the mixture of two different cultures, classical and modern. As noted by Safilo Group Annual Report 2016, “Marcus Wainwright and David Neville’s brand instantaneously acquired cult status by combining their British heritage with an inherent downtown New York aesthetic” (42). This feature is reflected in all of the products offered by the brand. For instance, the dresses designed by Rag & Bone combine classic silhouettes such as A-line with modern features, such as shiny fabrics, mesh, and cut-outs.
The color palette of the brand is relatively simple, with dusty and dark colors prevailing its looks. The brand also uses quite a lot of leather in its products, such as skirts, bottoms, and dresses. Although Rag & Bone offers clothing for both men and women, as well as shoes, handbags, and accessories, the range of designs is slightly limited. However, in the luxury market, this adds value to products by creating a sense of authenticity.
The classic look of Rag & Bone is “decidedly modern and downtown but built on classic menswear tailoring” (Associated Press). The brand’s philosophy is to design and sell stylish and modern clothing that is simple and comfortable to wear both day and night.
On the whole, despite the fact that Rag & Bone targets a more specific market segment than Sandro and Michael Kors, the brand still poses a threat to Sandro. First of all, Rag & Bone is still a relatively new brand that grows fast. Provided the support from Safilo Group, the company will continue to develop its market share in European and American markets. Secondly, Rag & Bone targets an audience that is part of Sandro’s target customer group by focusing specifically on men and women aged 20-30 with a modern taste in fashion.
Finally, like Michael Kors, Rag & Bone might be more attractive to American customers than Sandro because it was created in America. Therefore, viewing Rag & Bone as one of its key competitors would allow Sandro to build an effective strategy in order to secure and grow its market share and popularity.
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Annual Report 2016. 2017. Web.
Associated Press. “How a Couple of British Boarding School Boys with no Formal Training Launched New York’s Coolest Fashion Label.” Mail Online. 2013. Web.
Michael Kors. “The History of Michael Kors and How He Conquered Fashion.” The Telegraph. 2017. Web.
Safilo Group Annual Report 2016. 2017. Web.