1994, Chasing all the Brands – D&G, Versace and Armani Jeans

  1. Rob
  2. October 3, 2010 8:43 pm

Having quickly established a viable retail business, my two priorities, back in 1994 were to secure a really strong, top-end portfolio of brands, and to market the Bagga brand to steadily increase turnover.

The next brands to succumb to my “charm and powers of persuasion” were D&G jeans, Exte and Versace jeans.  With the exception of D&G these brands wouldn’t be on my “wishlist” these days, but back then they were performing very strongly.  All three brands were handled by a huge agency called Gorland.  The agency was headed by a big character called Salim, a businessman for whom I had huge respect.  Salim would always make a point of coming into the showroom, complete with trademark cigar, to say hello, and he showed a genuine interest in the Bagga business.  He had built a very successful company, and had beautiful, palatial showrooms in Portland Place, complete with a restaurant with a full-time chef.  I always tried to co-ordinate my trips to buy D&G Jeans, Versace Jeans and Exte to run through lunchtime!  The Bagga profile was made considerably smarter by the addition of D&G Jeans, Versace and Exte, and I spent progressively more each season with Gorland. Salim sadly passed away in October 2008, and Gorland went into administration soon after. 

My “holy grail” brand at the time was Armani Jeans, as I knew the brand would sell inceredibly well in our catchment area, and would work wonders for our profile.  The interestingly named Beverly Hills was the account manager at the time, representing the Armani Jeans brand for London agency Club 21.  After three seasons of persistent chasing of the brand, sending photographs, company profiles and generally making a nuisance of myself, I was finally given the go-ahead.  Armani Jeans’ Italian Head Office had given Bagga the thumbs-up to stock the brand.  Fantastic!  To this day, Armani jeans is one of the most difficult brands to secure an account with, and with good reason.  As other brands have peaked and troughed in terms of popularity, Armani Jeans has performed with a consistency that is the envy of most brands in the UK.  It is exceptionally well managed and nurtured by Club 21.

After overcoming the initial trepidation dealing with such brands, the buying soon became my favourite and most satisying part of running the business, and remained so until Bagga Menswear closed in June 2010.

As staff numbers grew and the business expanded, buying was something I very rarely delegated – it was a part of my “baby” that was very personal.  The concentration required when buying a brand that shows a big collection, such as Dolce & Gabbana or G Star is quite immense, and a big collection can take most of a day to finish an order.  Buying Designer Menswear collections is probably the only part of the business I actually miss, and I’d love some involvement in the process at some stage in the future.

Next – quirky marketing that paid dividends – thinking “outside the box”.

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1 Comment

  1. Marc says:
    Posted October 5, 2010 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Why don't you go on with an online store ?
    Bagga was the best!
    Thank you very much for buying the "G-Star Midnight Loose Tapered" in Spark Denim,anywhere in every Store in France,Germany and GB,I am the Highlight.

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