Benetton unveils Kamasutra-themed image overhaul

United Colors of Benetton has unveiled a new creative direction for the brand as it looks to recapture its former glory as a well-known high street fashion store.

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The brand has created 15 concept wool art installations, dubbed Lana Sutra (pictured), to represent the traditional and new values of Benetton, which include “uniqueness and authenticity” of the fashion range, “love of art” and the brand’s “interest in the web”.

Benetton says the Lana Sutra reflects the definition of the word “Kamasutra”, meaning pleasure and “a thread that unites” and will use colours that represent the Fall/Winter 2011 collection.

The installations will be on display in three concept stores in Istanbul, Milan and Munich and will be shown on Benetton Live Windows, the company’s digital shop window. The concept will be supported by Benetton’s Facebook and Twitter page and mobile applications.

The image overhaul has been led by Benetton’s chief merchandising and creative director You Nguyen, who joined the company from Levi Strauss in June to redesign the company’s brand identity, in-store architecture and 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 religious stereotypes.

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

Alessandro Benetton, executive deputy chairman of the Benetton Group, says: “With this project, which has been conceived and developed in harmony with our new Fall/Winter 2011 collection, we are highlighting the uniqueness and global values associated with United Colors of Benetton: an all-encompassing brand whose fashion, unites, with a truthful voice, people, points of view and themes that touch the whole of humanity.”

The Benetton Group’s net revenue was €908m (£799m) for the six months to 28 July 2011, up 1.7% year on year. Gross operating profit was down €22m (£19m) to €425m (£374m) for the period, which the Group claims was due to the “erosion” of margins by the increase in material costs.

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