Benetton is turning 50 and to mark the occasion, the brand is releasing “A Collection Of Us” in four capsule installments with the themes of heritage, technique, color and performance.
Debuting in October, December, February and April, each of the capsules “revamps a central element of the brand’s identity by reinterpreting it and charging it with dynamic, contemporary meanings,” according to a press release.
John Mollanger, Benetton’s head of product and marketing, told the Associated Press that the brand is eliminating its shock factor approach and instead is integrating its mission to sell clothes with its ad campaign to make sure its message to customers is more consistent. “If the communication experience is schizophrenic,” said Mollanger, “it’s not necessarily good news.”
The global campaign features five female models from different generations and backgrounds, all carrying the same message of emancipation and empowerment for the world’s women.
The “Benetton Women Empowerment Program” is a long-term initiative from the brand founded by the Benetton family in 1965 and based in Ponzano Veneto, Italy.
Benetton’s Women Empowerment Program is rooted in the brand’s long history of social commitment and recognizes that gender equality is necessary to build a peaceful, prosperous and more sustainable world for all, according to the press release.
“Women are the most significant agents for social change and are at the center of development globally,” said the brand. “Since we believe that women are key to making the world more sustainable, we launch a long-term initiative to support women’s rights worldwide.”
Benetton supports the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations for 2030: sustainable livelihood, nondiscrimination and equal opportunities, access to quality education and healthcare, and an end of all forms of violence against women.
The company is moving aggressively into global markets like India. “America is not part of our development policy,” said Gianluca Pastore, worldwide communications director, in WWD. “It’s an extremely strong and competitive market, which calls for a better focus by us, so it’d be arrogant for us to tackle such a committed market right now during this phase of our history.”
Seeking a return to the glory days before rivals like H&M and Zara increased the stakes, Michel Lhoste, Benetton international business director, added, “We have carried out an important cleaning operation in terms of refurbishing our [store] network.” Benetton has nearly 6,000 stores internationally today, with nearly 100 new stores opening in 2015. Since 2013, however, it has closed 300 stores in Italy.