GUCCI'S NEW BLACK
GUCCI's chief executive Robert Polet has silenced his critics by announcing impressive sales figures for the label during 2006. "It's hugely satisfying when you have achieved things others thought could not be done," he told the Financial Times - referring to his appointment in 2004 that many found incongruous with his previous role, as head of Unilever's ice-cream and frozen foods division, with some even nicknaming him "an ice-cream seller". But a 44 per cent rise in profits, which far exceeded analysts' expectations, has been put down, in part, to e-commerce. "I think it's the most exciting new territory and will become the most profitable and fastest-growing store for each brand," he said. Polet also revealed that Gucci Group stablemates Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen are on track to meet their financial targets for the year. The only label to make a loss was YSL Rive Gauche - though Polet pointed out that the house had at least improved its financial situation compared to the previous year, 2005, and further improvements can be expected considering the rave reviews that creative director Stefano Pilati's latest collection received.