Global Fashion Unit

Always fashionable

A relatively recent unit formed in 2009 with a decisive “Made in Italy” orientation, but with global reach thanks to our offices around the world. Its focus is on the textile, fashion, luxury and lifestyle sectors. It works directly with clients, normally businessmen looking to grow within a context in which complexity and new approaches have reached maximum levels.

Global Fashion Unit

The Global Fashion Unit was created in 2009 with the goal of focusing the consulting and strategic advisory services of The European House – Ambrosetti on the textile, fashion, luxury goods and lifestyle sectors: all examples of Italian excellence.

Although using an Italian approach and point-of-view, the GFU works from a global vision and scope thanks to the international competencies of its team and developed network of partners and branch offices active in the world’s major traditional and emerging markets. Among its priority goals are aiding both Italian and foreign clients to design and implement sensitive strategic projects, such as those often connected to internationalization, and improving performance requiring major structural changes, for example digital innovation and omnichannel distribution, whose explosive impacts are transforming the context and competitive dynamics in these sectors.

The European House – Ambrosetti’s Global Fashion Unit has prepared a series of services for companies and investors.

For manufacturing:

Advisory and executive coaching in brand development

  • Assisting in defining brand concept, brand positioning and development and relevance paths
  • Providing support for translating strategic positioning in terms of implementation projects in various areas (product/style, communication and marketing, distribution, operations, etc.)
  • Identifying key competencies to be developed
  • Assisting in competency searches (individuals or corporate partners)
  • Monitoring and strategic review

Support in setting up product development and productive platforms

  • Defining the supply chain model
  • Designing product gamma architecture – Merchandising
  • Designing the “product development system” and production requirements
  • Identifying suppliers and partners in the various international markets

Support in revising distribution strategies and retail development

  • Defining the distribution model
  • Identifying guidelines for retail development and partner searches
  • Developing e-commerce and omnichannel strategies as entry strategy tools
  • Internationalization support: priorities, projects, approaches
  • Developing partnerships and strategic international alliances/strategic matches

Support in M&A activities

  • Profiling and identifying potential targets
  • Business intelligence (confidential interviews)
  • Assessing growth opportunities (industrial synergies, spin-offs, restructuring)
  • Implementation assistance (coordination and due diligence activities)
  • KF (collaboration with KFinance)
  • Post-integration: First 100 days
  • Post-integration: Strategic monitoring and board advisory

Luxury goods company
Turnover: 8,000 mln euros worldwide
2020 scenario strategic study of the Made-in-Italy leather goods supply chain

Corporate top management, having made the strategic decision to position its major brands in “Made-in-Italy” production, asked us to verify the medium- to long-term sustainability of the Italian leather goods manufacturing sector.

For this we:
a) prepared a detailed map of the entire sector in Italy (regions and districts);
b) prepared benchmarking analysis to compare the models of its main competitors;
c) created a 2020 scenario model;
d) defined the strategic implications.

Japanese luxury goods distribution conglomerate
Turnover: 6 bln euros worldwide
Acquisition scouting of companies in Italy/Europe

The client requested our help in identifying/selecting Italian and European companies in which to invest in shares or joint ventures. Their goal was to acquire brands to be developed in Asian markets.

The primary targets were in formal and casual apparel, footwear, jewelry and design

Upon completion, 15 target companies that met their mandate were identified. As part of the mandate, the company was given assistance in training one of their people in Italy who would be utilized in the future as the liaison for joint ventures and Italian and European clients/partners.

Leader in quality apparel
Turnover: 150 mln euros worldwide
Reduce costs in the sportswear division

Part of the company’s top management was convinced that production costs (internal and external) of this segment could be significantly reduced, but there was not agreement on this.

Turning traditional analysis on its head, we helped top management to understand that the real reason for low profitability in this sector were the costs generated by the complexity of the collections. Specifically, a collection that was too extensive compared with the sales volume meant sample costs that could not be justified. Subsequently, thanks to our initiatives in the merchandising area, the company decided to not take action regarding production personnel and instead revised how the collection was structured, focusing on it strategically, to reduce prototype costs.


Flavio Sciuccati, head of the Global Fashion & Luxury Unit of The European House – Ambrosetti, concluded by noting that another major challenge to be taken on as quickly as possible to render Italian fashion even more competitive is the attainment of a supply chain that is 100% sustainable. Read the article by F. Camaruti on Milano Finanza.