Blog: Richard Ginori Blooms Under Gucci Ownership

Richard GinoriTop to bottom: New Missoni dinnerware, Toscana tea cup, Catene mugs, Oriente Italiano lidded tea cups

Gucci has breathed new life into Richard Ginori, made evident during the New York Tabletop Show last week.

"We've had a good response from the dealers," said Josephine Dillon, vice president and general manager of the U.S. division."Everyone is excited that we are still alive. So are we."

Under Gucci, Richard Ginori now has a full catalog and price list and clear product descriptions that are comprehensible to the American market. A global consumer advertising campaign is in the works. Back-office systems have been modernized and made more efficient with things like barcoding on packaging as well as product. There is plenty of new product, some of it tailored specifically for the American market, and, more importantly, product is available. "We are loaded for bear with stock," Dillon said.

"We still have our work ahead of us to instill trust in the salesperson on the floor," Dillon readily acknowledged, but the company is on the right track. It showcased a number of archival patterns that have been tweaked for modern-day consumers. "Gucci is big on that--digging into the archives," Dillon said.

Gio Ponti's Catene pattern of interlocking links now has giftware that coordinates back to the dinnerware, and includes $75 mugs, a quick nod to American tastes. Toscana, with its handpainted topographical landscape design, and Oriente Italiano, with its distinctive Richard Ginori colorways, showcase the craftsmanship and capability of Richard Ginori's artists. The retail tickets underscore the labor involved: a Toscana dinner plate retails for $800, while Palmette, another archival design, retails for $495 for a five-piece place setting.

"There's money in Europe, more so than here in America" that understands and appreciates what goes into the making of a singular plate, Dillon said. But she was quick to point out that Ginori has a wide range of product as well as price points. It has shelves of whiteware patterns that fall into the $150 per-place-setting range, for example. "We have good solid pricing on every level," she said.

Richard Ginori is also continuing with its Missoni-licensed program, although the patterns are now made of Italian porcelain, rather than bone china, following a Gucci mandate that everything must be made in Italy. New Missoni patterns include Flower Power and Zig Zag, both bright and colorful patterns that represent the Missoni spirit. - Allison Zisko