Handbag brand founded in Milan by Rosanna Daolio, and acquired by the Chinese company Redstone Haute Couture in 2011. Its creative director is Gabriele Colangelo since 2015.

Business / Brand: GIADA

Current situation: the brand has opened three flagship shops, the first in Milan, wasting a lot of energy on following the shops, has only one flagship product, the Andi coat, which is not in their launch category: bags

Problems identified by Maelle: there is an organisational and communicative limitation in having a large variety of products in the portfolio (jewellery, belts, clothing, knitwear, bags), the brand has not been able to develop a category as a core business

Sections of focus: Branding, Communication and production

Objective: push a single merchandise category, communicate through improved language and develop a network of distributors (so that single-brands are not the only source of profit) 

Rosanna Daolio is the founder of GIADA (2001)

Introduction and problem statement

Giada is an Italian fashion brand, founded in 2001 by Rosanna Daolio and acquired by the Chinese company Redstone Haute Couture in 2011.
In 2013, GIADA opened its first shop in Via Monte Napoleone in Milan, followed by flagship shops in Beijing and Boston (2019). Gabriele Colangelo became the brand’s creative director in 2015.
Giada started out as a handbag brand, and launched its first women’s fashion collection in 2016, showing models in the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan. Each season, it presents its collections during Milan Fashion Week.
Gabriele Colangelo turns to one of Leda Di Marti’s team members, in her fashion brand support company called Fashion Explained – founded in 2015 and existing before Maelle -, the handbag design expert is Gaetano Pollice, founder in turn of her eponymous handbag brand.
GIADA joins Maelle consequently when the brand’s issues do not end with bag product design consultancy. The creative director knows that the opening of the three single-brand stores has catalysed attention of the full team at GIADA and their online product offering is not satisfactory. Put simply, they take care of the woman’s complete wardrobe, from head to toe, without focusing on anyone.

different types of products GIADA sells

The analysis of the problem

A brand like GIADA was born and became famous for bags. However, with time and increased fame, the focus of the creative direction dissipates and many other categories are introduced in women’s fashion: shoes, scarves, outerwear, everyday clothes, jewellery. And the brand even comes to focus on the outerwear coat Andi (which is presented on the website as Our Signature, even dedicating a whole section in the menu to it).

The problem that Maelle’s team recognises is obvious (and the entire management team of the GIADA brand is also aware of this): the brand is no longer only recognised for bags, it is not famous for everyday clothing and it is certainly not the only brand that produces an exceptionally well-made coats in their minimal style. 

When one addresses a consumer with so many offers, without having perfected any of them (with targeted product communication, storytelling, commercial offers, selection in distribution), no consumer remembers GIADA for any specific reason.

This is a very difficult situation to analyze and resolve. Leda meets the Colangelo team and discusses the next steps for the brand and its future.
In communication: the brand presents a total-look, from head to toe: it takes a radical change of strategy, putting on the product that provides the most profit, that is simple to reproduce and that is the flagship product from now on. In each brand there is normally an article that is pushed and advertised more (let’s talk about Hermes with the bag
In production: The brand has now triggered a development system in all the supply chains and in doing so it disperses a lot of energy for quality control (imagine that they must have specialists for the control of shoes, scarves, jewelry, clothing!). But the investment in economic terms is the most burdensome: the development of sizes, which occurs both in footwear and scarves, and in clothing.
The production chain is slow both for the quality of the product (which is very high, in fact GIADA is a pret-à-couture), but also for the control of each supply chain (which takes place with all the attention).

This is a very difficult situation to analyze and resolve. Leda meets the Colangelo team and discusses the next steps for the brand and its future. The brand presents a total-look, from head to toe: it needs a radical change of strategy, investing on one product categories that provides the most profit, that is the simplest to reproduce and that is the flagship product from now on.

In each brand there is normally an article that is pushed and advertised more (let’s talk about Hermes with the Kelly bag, or Moschino with the Perfumes, or Burberry with the trench).

In production: The brand has now triggered a development system in all the supply chains and in doing so it disperses a lot of energy for quality control. Imagine that the team must have specialists for the quality control of shoes, scarves, jewelry, clothing! But the investment in economic terms is the havier: the development of sizes, which occurs both in footwear, scarves and in clothing.
The production chain is slow both for the quality of the product (which is very high, in fact GIADA is a pret-à-couture), but also for the control of each supply chain (delayes, mistakes, results, lack of materials, shippings, communication with the factories).

In sales: find distributors, boutuique and multi-brand that sell the signature category of products chosen by the brand – this to increase its desirability, perception, strengthens communication and pushes the sale of a single product, also increasing profits (because the quantity of one single product category is increased , without losing quality).

Gabriele Colangelo is GIADA's creative director since 2015.
How GIADA products are presented into the wesbite
GIADA has developed any kind of accessories and the full-look apparel

If you do them all, you are not doing any

Do you recognize yourself in the same situation as GIADA? If you also have a thousand ideas for new products and would like to start with all of them at the same time, think twice (or even ten times!). 

Designing a product or a whole category of different products is easier said than done, and even when the sketches of bags, jewelry accessories, clothing seem to match and communicate perfectly, the execution of a production chain is complex and impossible even if you are to the third season – let alone the first!

Read more to find out how to manage the situation.

Why it is risky for the production?

The risks of producing two, three or four commodities of different products occur in the production chain, in communication and in the distribution network.
The branding that should be behind this choice (and which obviously isn't) is confusing and inconsistent. In any case, presenting too many categories will also make the definition of the value proposition of the brand, its taget and its price position very complex.

When a product is produced, different suppliers, different manufacturers, different strategies must be sought and tested so that the production process is faster, optimizing energy, shipments and related costs and personnel involved. This process happens in 6-10 months to the first collection of the brand. Now imagine multiplying this effort by two, three or four different supply chains!

The main reason is that the clothing supply chain has nothing to do with that of footwear or that of scarves or that of bags or jewelry. If there is a development of the total look in your long-term vision of the brand (including jewelry), invest your time in perfecting a single supply chain at the beginning. Start with the one that you are most passionate about, that generates you the most profit and that allows you to progress more easily. If you don't know how to start this analysis, you can always book a session with Leda and Martina for production and communication.

When this affects the communication too

In perfect communication - Martina Di Pasquale, our communication expert, would say so - there is only room for clarity, concreteness and storytelling.
Your attention, as a fashion founder, is dedicated to a thousand different situations: design, sales strategy, communication planning, trend research, participation in promotional events, the choice of collaborators and suppliers. Do you really want to add a variety of 4 different categories as well? Clarity is the basis of every action that the brand takes: what purpose does it have? What message it conveys?
Confused communication does not help the sales and the consumers often do not know what they wants, but listen to what the brand proposes. The average consumer also feels intimidated by too many choices and ends up buying nothing. So less choice - more sales. Simple, isn't it?

What to do when you are already in this situation?

The case of GIADA makes you understand that you can perpetuate in a failed strategy for years, before deciding to change. But this only happens if there is an external investments of money - GIADA was acquired by a Chinese luxury group in 2015 - or the founder's large personal investments - still a lot of money.

In the end, though, the math is simple: the accounts must be in profit.
If you are already in this situation, like GIADA, it is not too late to re-evaluate your needs, those of the consumer and choose a single product category. Follow this guide to understand how:

  1. analyze the timing of each category: which one takes the longest to sell and make a profit?
  2. analyzes how many professionals are involved in product development: salaries or project collaborations investments;
  3. analyze your skills as a brand founder: is there a category in which you can do more work without delegating at the beginning?

Saving in the early years of the business is essential to manage future investments with practicality and lucidity.
Choose based on this information and continue developing a consistent project.
Book a session with Leda - expert in product development - if you need more help.

what is the problem?

Too many categories – no focus

Fashion founders have a lot of items they want to produce and because they do not know which to start with first, they develop them all at the same time.

After Maelle

The solution

Colangelo’s team starts using Maelle, starting from the Branding section.

The analysis of the Brand Book immediately shows a conflict between the consumer of bags and that of clothing.
The choice of the creative director is to focus on bags: it is a product that does not require size development – thus limiting the risk of return in flagstores in Milan, Beijing and Boston.

The decision to open three stores is also risky, especially if in three different continents. The approach to the Italian (European), Chinese (Asian) and American customer is completely different: habits, needs, attraction towards trends, loyalty and attention to sustainability.

Training staff with different guidelines takes time away from product development and the sales network (which in Maelle are supported in the Production and Sales sections).

In the Production section, the GIADA team looks for suppliers to reduce the risk of error and delayes. They can do it easily matching with factories from all around the world, in the Suppliers section, with 99% of compatibility. Until now they have invested all their energies in the same trusted factory. It is not wrong to believe in a factory and invest in it, but it is very risky when production starts to become relevant and the brand popular, because every subcontractor business can have unexpected events. Factories can suffer arson or random fires – it happened to Leda in her third collection – factories can close due to bereavement or illness, they can go bankrupt or move to another location that is not congenial to the brand production (taxation, shipping costs or quality control).

In the Sales section: the sales team is able to choose strategic distributors (in Maelle there are boutiques, deparments stores, multibrands) that cover the areas that GIADA flagstores do not already cover. Since the brand has a twenty-year heritage, they can propose – and force – on product packages so that they can be sure to push all the products they need to sell, and so the identity of the brand is intact (these are combinations already devised by the GIADA strategic team).

latest collection GIADA

we support brands even more!

GIADA required the extra service from the expert of accessories design Gaetano Pollice:

  1. production technical designs (production section – expert: Gaetano Pollice).

production technical designs

What is included into Maelle membership:

In the section Production Designing, the founder follows the guidelines to plan and design a collection that sells for the chosen market. In the section Leda explains both how to organize the garments, how to mix the DNA of the brand, the inspiration and the trends of the season. Once the collection has been defined, the choice of suppliers takes place automatically through the Suppliers section, which shows all the manufacturers and companies producing accessories and fabrics. The process is straightforward and simple to follow, and must be repeated for each season (every 3 or 6 months).

What Maelle experts give you:

Leda Di Marti is Maelle’s apparel technical designer and Gaetano Pollice is the Maelle’s accessories technical designer. The sketches are unfortunately not accepted in an industrial production, you will have to make technical drawings, that are called Flats, and that help the manufacturers to understand without any doubt the product and all its details. To make these technical garments Adobe Illustrator is used and the required experience is proportional to the complexity of the garment. Leda and Gaetano produce more than 100 datasheets per year for brands of swimwear, everyday wear, children’s clothing, ceremony and all accessories (shoes to bags and leather goods).