The Mystery Mogul Behind Off-White
The opaque Milanese holding company New Guards Group has birthed many of luxury streetwear’s most-hyped brands, including Off-White, Palm Angels, County of Milan and Heron Preston. In his first-eveRead full story
New Guards Group has been quite a shadowy conglomerate, but many of its brands (Off-White, Palm Angels, Heron Preston) have more showy than shadowy. I personally had no idea (but am ultimately not suprised) that these brands built around and by DJs, musicians, and designers are owned by one major shop
New Guards Group has been quite a shadowy conglomerate, but many of its brands (Off-White, Palm Angels, Heron Preston) have more showy than shadowy. I personally had no idea (but am ultimately not suprised) that these brands built around and by DJs, musicians, and designers are owned by one major shop. This story is a great deep dive into NGG, but since it's a paywall, here are some key takeaways from Bain's Magdalena Kala:
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New Guards Group is the holding company of successful streetwear brands like Off-White and Palm Angels, with €235M revenue and €60M in net profits in 2018. This deep-dive on the business and its mastermind, Davide De Giglio, offers three interesting perspectives on building a modern fashion business:
1. Community is the nucleus of a brand:
New Guards Group is made up of DJs, musicians, designers, and influencers. With increasing hybridization of business and marketing models, this core creative community is essential. Would Off-White be nearly as successful if Creative Designer Virgil Abloh was not connected to cultural influencers like Kanye West? Doubtful.
2. The Importance of authenticity:
“We are not looking to a scene for inspiration. We are part of the scene. We know what the kids want, because we are the kids.” – Davide De Giglio, founder and CEO. When backing a trend-driven business model like streetwear, it is essential to have a leader at the helm who is authentic to their core customer. That is the only way you can possibly bet on a company to reliably stay-on and help define the next wave of trends.
3. The ideal investment partner:
This company is already profitable and values its business on cultural impact, as much as it does on financial metrics. Thus they want a partner who will do more than just pay them the highest price. "You're not looking for money, you're looking for expertise, support, someone that can help you to grow" – De Giglio.
Community + authenticity + thoughtful search for value add partners feels like a winning formula to me, not just in fashion but in all other sectors of modern consumer economy.
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