Valentino flourishes under its new Qatari ownership
During an interview in Paris following the Spring 2013 show of the house, Valentino CEO Stefano Sassi confirmed the Italian brand has embarked on a major international expansion plan, with new stores to be opened in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Asked about the relationship with the new owners (shadowly controlled by First Lady Sheikha Mozah), Sassi said “It is a personal style of management, we have a fantastic relationship so far, things are going well and there are opportunities to accelerate our growth more and more.”. Asked if he had met Sheikha Mozah, glamorous wife of Qatar’s emir and one of the world’s biggest buyers of haute couture, who has spearheaded the emirate’s investment in fashion, Sassi replied: “This is top secret.”
Speaking about China which makes up to 40 percent of Valentino’s turnover, Sassi said the brand was not seeing any slowdown in China. People in China want exclusivity, high-end products, so we are benefiting from that,” he said. Sassi said Valentino sales in directly operated shops globally were up 33 percent in the month of September alone against the same period last year and up 26 percent in the nine months to Sept. 30.
Stefano Sassi also confirmed the creative direction under Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli will see no changes, under new ownership.