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What Mytheresa’s continued partnership with Dolce & Gabbana tells us about the retailer’s success

Last month, a group of 80 Mytheresa guests – made up of top clients, content creators, VIP guests and press – flew to the Amalfi Coast for a spectacular dinner on the island of Capri, celebrating the luxury retailer’s exclusive summer capsule with Dolce & Gabbana. There the group enjoyed an aperitivo in a private bar in the famous piazzetta, before dining under a romantic canopy of lemon trees in the iconic Da Paolino restaurant, followed by an evening of traditional Italian music in the historic taverna Anema & Core – all decorated from in vibrant, colorful Dolce & Gabbana prints. It was the definition of the dolce vita on one memorable evening.

While it may sound unique (and that’s exactly the point), the event was actually one of the many ‘money-can’t-buy’ experiences the multi-brand retailer has become known for – from partying in Cannes with Gianvito Rossi to tour Lake Orta with Brunello Cuccinelli – a way to foster relationships with its core customers and brand partners, while celebrating and publicizing the launch of exclusive collaborations. This latest collection with Dolce & Gabbana, inspired by Capri, marks the eighth such collaboration between the two.

mytheresa and dolce and gabbana in capri

thanks to Mytheresa

dolce gabbana capri collection

thanks to Mytheresa

“In the beginning it was a little extra on top of what we buy in the showroom,” says Richard Johnson, Chief Commercial and Sustainability Officer of Mytheresa, about the annual collaboration. “I would say now that at the moment – ​​and we are investing heavily in this from an events point of view, but also from a product point of view – it’s more of a standalone collection. It’s quite a scale.” The collection includes everything from sundresses, scarves and silk trousers to clip-on earrings, bucket bags and raffia sandals, all designed to infuse your wardrobe with a touch of that quintessential Italian glamour.

“What we love about working with Dolce & Gabbana in general is that they are so synonymous with Italy and Italian culture – and that’s such an exportable concept, isn’t it? Everyone knows what the Italian summer is about and so we’re exporting a little bit of Italy to the rest of the world,” Johnson continues. “It reflects that Italian lifestyle, that love of summer, and people want to get a little taste of that, especially in times like these, which quite frankly, are very bad.” be difficult for many people. A little escapism is definitely needed.”

dolce gabbana capri collection

thanks to Mytheresa

While it’s unlikely that Mytheresa’s top customers have been hugely affected by the cost of living, there’s no denying that it’s a challenging landscape at the moment for both independent labels and multi-brand retailers, with the recent closure of MatchesFashion being just one example. Munich-based Mytheresa is undeniably doing better than most of its competitors, something Johnson attributes to the platform’s fearlessly tight management.

“We have been advocating for years that less is more and we stand by that”

“It’s a conscious decision; it’s central to our strategy,” he says of the condensed offering (the site stocks around 250 brands compared to Farfetch’s 3,000-plus brands). “Because this is what our customers tell us they want. They want us to do the hard work. We’ve been arguing for years that less is more and we stand by that. If you’re coming to Capri or anywhere else this summer and you want a dress or swimwear, whatever it is, you actually don’t want to see it everything possible. Our customers don’t have time for that – even if they love shopping. So less is more – and that’s easy to say, but it’s actually quite hard work, because yes, you can add (new brands), but then you have to constantly trim and be very disciplined in making decisions about who you can work with.” Without that disciplined trimming, you risk “wandering toward the middle ground,” he adds, “which is a tough place to be.”

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While this management is clearly attractive to the customer, the added benefit of having fewer brand partners is that the retailer can build stronger relationships with each of them. “That’s the other important element that sometimes gets overlooked,” says Johnson. “When you offer hundreds and hundreds of brands, the best you can hope for for the majority of them is to upload the product and make it happen. With fewer brands and fewer partners, we can go deeper. We can spend more time with them. With them, we can do this kind of events (in Capri). This could never have happened if we had used many more designers and spread our efforts too thin. This relationship (with Dolce & Gabbana) has grown beyond those eight capsules, because we have continued to develop it to develop and continue to invest in it.”

Silk blend midi dress, capri
Dolce & Gabbana Capri silk blend midi dress
Beach dress with capri print
Dolce & Gabbana Capri beach dress with print
Capri bucket bag with raffia finish
Dolce & Gabbana Capri bucket bag with raffia trim

This strict purchasing approach allowed Mytheresa to stay focused, without being distracted by passing fads or one-season wonders. Instead, the team looks for brands with longevity. “We’re not always the first to jump on a new designer or jump on a collection in the first season,” says Johnson. “There have been credible retailers who have done that and had a good reputation for it, but what we often look for is a designer’s ability to develop their idea over time. So sometimes we feel a little more comfortable when we come in after a few seasons, when we can see how it develops. When we start working with someone new, we want to think that we will continue to work with him for a long time – or indefinitely You can’t always tell from season one. Once you have an idea of ​​what they’re about, how the story unfolds and whether there’s a serious business behind it, then we have a little more confidence to think about long-term partnerships.”

“The customer is always the starting point”

The key to this, he believes, is investing in brands with a strong, distinctive identity. “As a designer you have to stand for something. You have to have a very specific point of view. Unfortunately, a lot of fashion is about recognizing designers simply because it has a brand – and in some cases that’s fine and has its place. But actually I think that if you can recognize the designer by the aesthetic, without having to literally spell it out, that is real credibility.”

dolce gabbana capri collection

thanks to Mytheresa

Building relationships and customer loyalty also requires designers who can evolve their collections over time, without compromising what they stand for. “That (aesthetic) has to be translatable,” Johnson says. “Too many designers have become very famous because of a signature item, whatever that may be, but have failed to translate that into a larger concept.

“It’s super important that we innovate and update a story incrementally over time. You absolutely can’t just have the same dress in a new print. It has to evolve and continue to captivate and inspire people’s interests. Otherwise it becomes redundant .”

Capri embellished raffia sandals
Dolce & Gabbana Capri embellished raffia sandals
Capri cotton crop top
Dolce & Gabbana Capri cotton crop top
Capri clip-on earrings
Dolce & Gabbana Capri clip-on earrings

But management is only one secret to retailer success. The other essential ingredient, according to Johnson, is putting the customer first: truly understanding who the audience is, staying focused on them and providing unparalleled service. “We really think about what our customers want from us, not about what we necessarily want to give to customers,” he explains. “The customer is always the starting point. Our Net Promoter Scores (NPS) are the foundation of what we do. Everyone from Michael, our president, to the entire team reads the comments that come back from customers so we really understand their customers We don’t pretend to understand them. We’ve really focused on that and making sure everything we do serves the customer better.”

dolce gabbana capri collection

thanks to Mytheresa

This also means focusing more on core customers, rather than chasing the more fleeting, aspirational shoppers. “For example, to get a little more specific on the purchasing and merchandising side, we’re not just looking at the usual sales growth metrics, we’re also looking at WHO we sell it to. Is the us audience? Or are we doing something here that will reach a slightly different audience? Where we see brands that maybe don’t resonate with our core audience, with those high-end luxury customers, that’s where we might go from there. They can be great companies, but they’re just not our business. There aren’t many retailers who are necessarily thinking in that direction.”

“We are moving away from brands that don’t resonate with our core audience. It may be a good thing, but it’s just not our business”

About 3 percent of Mytheresa’s customer base accounts for about 40 percent of sales, and those are the customers who could be invited to celebrate with Dolce & Gabbana in Capri. By offering these ‘money can’t buy’ experiences, they can treat their most loyal customers as if they were part of a private members club, building a community – not just with themselves and their respective brands, but also with each other.

“In many ways we are taking a fast and a slow approach,” Johnson says. “When customers shop with us online, they want it to be fast at every stage – from the finer details of page loading speed, but of course how quickly they can get the product they want, how easily they can check it out; The whole thing has to be fluid and fast. But what we’ve seen here in Capri is the other end of the spectrum: it’s where people have essentially given up their own valuable time – maybe 48, 72 hours of their time – to do it with us. So it’s fast and nothing in between. It’s real efficiency in the digital experience, combined with the slower process of creating real, lasting relationships.”

Shop the entire Dolce & Gabbana Capri collection here at Mytheresa.

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