Jean-Marc Gaucher, who relaunched Repetto dies
Jean-Marc Gaucher, president and owner of Repetto, died on Tuesday May 9, 2023 in Paris, at the age of 70, FashionNetwork.com has learnt, after it was announced by his family on May 11. A self-made man, the French entrepreneur bought the Dordogne-based shoe brand in 1999, which was on the verge of bankruptcy at the time, positioning it as a global brand in the world of luxury and dance, notably renowned for its ballerina pumps.
"It is with deep sadness that we announce the sudden death of Jean-Marc. Jean-Marc was a lover of life. He lived it with passion, talent and all his qualities as a visionary," said his wife in the statement.
Born in Montreuil in 1953 to a father who worked at Renault and a mother who was a shopkeeper, Jean-Marc Gaucher left school at the age of 15. A lover of sport and in particular of long-distance running, he was spotted by the owner of Reebok, who offered him the exclusive distribution of the label's products on French territory. In 1994, he became CEO of Reebok France and vice president of Reebok International.
In 1999, he had the opportunity to take over the dance shoe brand created in 1947 by Rose Repetto, which was in serious financial difficulty at the time, transforming it into an internationally renowned label, representative of French know-how. Repetto was awarded the "Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant" label in 2013.
In order to make Repetto a desirable label, Jean-Marc Gaucher formed collaborations with great names in fashion, such as Issey Miyake in 2000, Yohji Yamamoto in 2002, Comme des Garçons in 2004 and Karl Lagerfeld in 2009. He also diversified his offer with leather goods and textile lines.
In 2007, for Repetto's 60th anniversary, Jean-Marc Gaucher created the Dance for Life Foundation. An international initiative, it aims to support dance schools, encouraging the reintegration of children in distress through artistic expression.
In 2012, Jean-Marc Gaucher inaugurated the Repetto leather training school, not far from his factory in Saint-Médard-d'Excideuil, in the Dordogne, where the famous "sew-and-turn" technique, characteristic of his dance shoes is taught. To date, the school has trained more than 600 apprentices in the various leather trades.
For several years, Jean-Marc Gaucher had called on his daughter, Charlotte Gaucher-Holmann, to assist him and prepare for the future. At the beginning of 2022, while remaining President of Repetto, he appointed Laurence Lévy as managing director, alongside his daughter, who was then promoted to deputy managing director. Charlotte Gaucher-Holmann is now taking over from her father and becoming President of Repetto.
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