Trouble is brewing at some German fashion companies at the moment. The consequences of the pandemic as well as the inflation and customers’ lower purchasing power are turning into major obstacles at companies like Ahlers and Weber that are facing insolvency. The sportswear sector does not seem to be so badly affected, at least not yet, and German ski and outerwear brand Bogner is optimistic.
Instead of being glum, the fashion company is in a party mood as it celebrated its 90th anniversary last year. In addition, Bogner has already staged a spectacular fashion show in Munich's famous Hofbräuhaus. However, Bogner is not only at home in its Bavarian homeland, but also on ski slopes all over the world. That is why the skiwear and ready-to-wear supplier is also pushing ahead with its expansion in markets such as China and the USA.
Especially in the “active sports” segment, which includes sports such as skiing and golf, there is no sign of slowing down, the company told FashionUnited. Customers are happy that skiing is possible again without restrictions, and Bogner sees a need to catch up, especially when it comes to fashion for the slopes. However, it is also noticeable that customers are much more aware of the overall economic situation.
Bogner wants to continue its successful course
That is why Willy Bogner GmbH also focuses clearly on products that “actually accompany” its customers, according to a statement from the Munich-based company. This applies to the areas of sport and leisure as well as to everyday clothing.
”In general, our Bogner active sports and ready-to-wear divisions are moving closer together,” said Barbara Holzer, director of product and design at Bogner.
With a “clear fashion statement” of the collections, high quality and innovations in new products, the skiwear expert wants to continue to create “the unexpected” and thus remain successful.
”Bogner will continue on its successful course in the coming years,” said Bogner CEO Gerrit Schneider. “In doing so, we will remain true to our DNA: then and now, Bogner stands for a lifestyle of its own, defined by enthusiasm for sports, fashion and the pursuit of the highest quality and innovation.”
Behind this successful course lies a rocky road. After the company's turnover in fiscal 2016/17 fell short of the previous year's result, things needed to start looking up again. Arndt Geiwitz also played a role in this: After Willy Bogner's departure at the end of 2019, the auditor headed a trust company that took on the role of shareholder. Only with the “successful completion” of the performance programme that he and the Bogner family set for themselves did he return the company into the family's hands in time for the anniversary. Bogner managed to exceed pre-pandemic levels in year 2021/22 with a turnover of 166.3 million euros (146.5 million pounds), earlier than planned. However, part of the process was also the reduction of 150 jobs and the sale of the company headquarters for 55 million euros (48 million pounds).
Expansion in China and USA
Even the company’s international expansion was speedy. Since Bogner entered the Chinese market in December 2021, it has already opened four of its own stores, three pop-ups and three shops with partners. Business in China is to be driven forward in the current financial year. To this end, Bogner is also relying on various Chinese influencers and other celebrities.
In the USA, Bogner has gained new “image and prestige customers”, but is also focusing its expansion on “more urban points of sale” and ski resorts. In order to become more visible in the US market, the brand also sought local cooperation partners such as New York brand LoveShackFancy and Californian fashion retailer Fred Segal, which offered Bogner's collaboration with the Harden Cashmere label exclusively.
In addition to these expansion markets, which remain interesting due to the “dynamic growth of the luxury market in Asia and the USA”, the domestic market is not to be neglected either, the company says.
”In the future, Bogner will strengthen its presence in the domestic market and drive internationalisation in growth markets,” confirmed Schneider.
The continued collaborations between the younger Bogner line ‘Fire + Ice’ and LoveShackFancy as well as with the James Bond brand ‘007’ should contribute to the ongoing success of the fashion company.
This article was originally published on http://FashionUnited.uk . Edited and translated by Simone Preuss.