French label Kaporal files for receivership
French label Kaporal, a specialist in men’s, women’s and children’s ready-to-wear, is seeking to be placed in judicial receivership because of “unprecedented economic difficulties,” FashionNetwork.com has learnt from the label itself. The Marseilles-based company’s 534 employees were notified on Monday March 27, and a hearing is scheduled this week to consider the filing. A court ruling is expected shortly thereafter.
Kaporal was founded in Marseilles in 2004 by Laurent Emsellem and his family, experts in the denim sector, and has forged a solid reputation as a jeans label over the years. In 2013, the label was bought by the TowerBrook Capital Partners investment fund, with offices in London and New York. Kaporal currently operates 113 stores in France, including a dozen outlet stores, plus a few more addresses in Belgium, and is also distributed via several hundred multibrand retailers.
In 2022, its revenue reached €99 million (of which 20% was generated online), while it was close to €120 million before the pandemic. In a press release, Kaporal's management stated that the company is “facing an exceptional financial situation, characterised by unprecedented economic difficulties,” and listed the factors that have adversely affected its performance in recent years: “the yellow-vest protests, successive waves of strikes, the pandemic, rising inflation and soaring energy, raw materials, rent and transport prices, compounded by the invasion of Ukraine.”
Kaporal said that, despite cost-rationalisation measures deployed to try to preserve cash flow, it is “no longer able to shoulder debt payments on its own.” According to information gleaned by FashionNetwork.com, Kaporal’s management and owners have been searching for some weeks for new financial partners that could bolster the label’s next steps. But the search for a new investor yielded no results, said the company, adding that it is now forced to initiate this procedure, “determined to be proactive rather than reactive.”
In the last 10 years, under Laurence Paganini’s stewardship, Kaporal has transformed its brand image and retail strategy, adding a feminine touch to its collections. In 2021, it notably unveiled a revamped visual identity, a fresh take on the rock and military mood of its beginnings. The objective was to appeal to 35 to 40-year-old consumers, while also emphasising the label’s CSR commitment. A policy driven by Kaporal’s management which also involved its staff, and was endorsed its majority shareholder, a B Corp-certified firm.
Jeans account for more than a third of Kaporal's product range. The merchandise is produced in the Mediterranean basin area (in Turkey, Tunisia and France), and partly also in Asia. In January, the mid-range label added to its upcycling-themed collaborations with external designers by partnering with Luis Carvalho, a Portuguese designer who shows in Lisbon.
After San Marina, a footwear brand based in Aubagne - which has since been liquidated - Kaporal is yet is another major fashion name from France’s Marseilles region that has been forced to seek the trade court’s protection.
Copyright © 2023 FashionNetwork.com All rights reserved.