Baccarat appoints its first creative director

Baccarat perseveres with its new strategy, now welcoming its first permanent artistic director to the company. The post was created for James Taffin de Givenchy, a nephew of Hubert de Givenchy, a French expatriot living in New York with his own brand of jewelery called Taffin. It is the second high-profile recruitment this year at Baccarat, after the arrival of Michelle Klein in January 2012 to oversee the U.S. subsidiary and its strategic direction. Baccarat is active in jewelry, although the sector is still not its primary focus. High-end crystal lighting and decorative objects represent its other business areas.

Photo AFP

"I want to bring Baccarat into the 21st century and see it lead the world of crystal," James Taffin de Givenchy told Womenswear Daily. To do this, he will have to beat out Swarovski, whose crystal business brought in some 2.87 billion euros in 2011. Baccarat, meanwhile, recorded turnover for the same year at 143.2 million euros, up 13.8% compared to the previous year. In 2011, the current CEO of Baccarat, Markus Lempe, joined the company after ten years at none other than Swarovski.

In May 2012, the French crystal manufacturer received a capital investment of 27.5 million euros, underwritten by U.S. investment fund Catterton Partners, which increased its participation to 22% to accelerate the company's growth. The Groupe du Louvre company (a subsidiary of Starwood Capital) remains the Baccarat majority shareholder with an interest of approximately 66.5%.

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