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The revival of fashion brands between marketing and history: The case of the Italian fashion company Pucci

Elisabetta Merlo (Department of Policy Analysis and Public Management AND CRIOS (Center for Research in Innovation, Organization, and Strategy), Bocconi University, Milan, Italy)
Mario Perugini (Bocconi University)

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing

ISSN: 1755-750X

Article publication date: 16 February 2015




The purpose of this paper is to shed light on the contribution that history can give to marketing strategies aimed at revitalizing fashion brands. It focuses on the revival strategy implemented in recent years by the Pucci fashion company.


The analysis is carried out in four parts. Marketing literature dealing with “brand revival” is reviewed in the first part. The second and the third part deal with the main characteristics featured, respectively, by the original and restored Palio and Vivara collections. In the fourth part, by applying the key concepts provided to us by the marketing literature, we pinpoint the chief values which Pucci’s retro-marketing strategy has emphasized upon and those that instead have been partially, if not completely, neglected. The research is based on a mix of sources including records kept by historical archives, fashion press, economic and financial databases and exhibition catalogues.


The research shows that resorting to the past to revitalize a fashion brand can backfire if the retro-marketing strategy is not supported by an extensive knowledge of the firm’s history, and by a well documented analysis of the historical background in which the brand was originally introduced.


The paper provides an example of interdisciplinary approach to brand revival, a marketing strategy to which an increasing number of firms resort to meet the consumers’ call for nostalgic innovation.



The authors wish to thank the anonymous referees for their useful comments. All errors and omissions are ours. The article represents a joint effort. Elisabetta Merlo wrote the introduction, the second and the fourth section. Mario Perugini wrote the first and the third section and the conclusions.


Merlo, E. and Perugini, M. (2015), "The revival of fashion brands between marketing and history: The case of the Italian fashion company Pucci", Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, Vol. 7 No. 1, pp. 91-112.



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