“Women’s Ready-to-Wear Business Development Strategy”

Company History
From a heritage over 100 years old, the Salvatore Ferragamo legacy was born of craftsmanship and innovation. Feted as the “shoemaker to the stars” Salvatore began his journey adorning the feet of Hollywood starlets and the international elite. The original designer of the stiletto and the wedge, and the pioneer of mixed materials, his story was the culmination of artist and inventor. Today, Ferragamo is a leading multi-category luxury brand known for combining style, creativity and innovation with the quality and craftsmanship typical of Italian-made goods. Ferragamo currently has over 3,000 employees and an extensive network of 606 single-brand stores worldwide.


The Challenge
The “Women’s Ready-to-Wear Business Development Strategy” project explored the strategic role of women’s ready-to-wear (RTW) within the brand. The project included the development of a strategic initiative proposal, outlining key initiatives for increasing overall brand desirability while generating additional revenues. As part of the strategic initiative proposal, the project also included a design brief of iconic RTW items with recommendations and examples of modernized styles, materials and colors.


“Women’s Ready to Wear Business Development Strategy”
The team of Parsons and Columbia Business School students worked together to develop a proposal outlining a strategic direction for women’s RTW supported by key initiatives for leveraging the category to increase brand perception and drive revenue generation. The team started by analyzing Ferragamo’s competitive positioning in the category through mystery shopping, industry research, employee interviews, and an analysis of competitor best practices spanning in-store, print and digital communications, and product assortment. The team also conducted a survey of 100 females of various ages, gauging their perceptions of Ferragamo and luxury goods in general. The results drove the development of a brand perception map used to identify potential strategic opportunities. The team presented three potential strategies, ultimately moving forward with the strategy of heightening the perception of Ferragamo as an Italian brand. To achieve this, the team developed several initiatives including creating a design brief that not only referenced avant-garde design, materials and color, but also spoke to Ferragamo’s heritage and craftsmanship through leathers and iconic symbols and pieces. The team sought to further develop the Italian experience in-store by transforming a wall into a digital showcase of Ferragamo’s heritage and craftsmanship utilizing video montages. In addition, the team presented new garment packaging to round out the customer experience by ensuring that purchases travel home in packaging reflective of the craftsmanship, heritage and quality Ferragamo is known for.


The Team
Jane Hendrick, Columbia Business School
Johanne West Juell, Parsons The New School for Design
Yeon Jung Roh, Parsons The New School for Design
Sarah Secrest, Columbia Business School
Babar Suleman, Parsons The New School for Design
Divya Surana, Columbia Business School
Christine Yoon, Parsons The New School for Design
Andrew Zalk, Columbia Business School