Benetton set for image overhaul

United Colors of Benetton has appointed its first chief merchandising and creative director as it looks to recreate the success it enjoyed three decades ago.


Former Levi Strauss designer You Nguyen has been named to lead the overhaul. He will be responsible for redesigning Benetton’s brand identity, in-store architecture and the clothing collections.

United Colors of Benetton was a leading European fashion brand in the 1980s, led by edgy ad campaigns that played on race, gender and relgious stereotypes.

It has since lost its market leading position to brands such as Zara, Topshop, Gap and H&M.

The Benetton Group has 35 stores in the UK and reported global net income of €102m (£88.5m) for 2010, down €20m (£17.9m) on the previous year. The Group blamed the increase in raw material costs for the decrease.

Nguyen says: “The brand’s future depends chiefly on its staying loyal to its identity, on its solidity and time-honoured ties with such values as design, architecture and innovation.

“I think my ’foreign’ sensitivity will help to see and interpret that future through new eyes…”

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