Jean Patou rebrands as "Patou"
Patou: a short, snappy and simple name. Its sound is almost familiar, both amusing and warm. Exit "Jean," the first name of the French couture and fragrance house's founder: Jean Patou is becoming "Patou" and is revamping its image.
Luxury titan LVMH, after having taken control of the label in 2018, is now accelerating its relaunch. Not without having taken with it the name of the house’s emblematic perfume, “Joy,” along the way, recently surrendered to Dior. It has become common practice for couture houses to lose the first names of their creator-founders once they are no longer linked. It happened to Dior with Christian Dior, Chanel with Coco Chanel, Versace with Gianni Versace, Saint Laurent with Yves and Maison Margiela with Martin.
It is a way of liberating the label and perennialising it by attributing it the status of a global label. Not to mention that a shorter simpler name is more recognisable and efficient to use and apply across product lines. This strategy seems particularly well adapted to Patou, as the house underlined in a press release, in the form of a poem: “Patou as a surname, a word, a friend, an invitation.
“Onomatopoeia that we love to repeat. A recognisable appeal, a je-ne-sais-quoi that resembles you. Patou is Patou!” wrote the label. It has also adopted a new, strongly legible logo, in large black letters on a white background. “A new logo inspired by the house’s archives, to see the label enter into a new era.”
To help create this playful and attractive new identity, a series of mini-films were created, in which the name Patou is repeated throughout a number of whimsical scenes. A cat named Patou wears a branded ribbon around its neck, while “Patou” pastries disappear from view as a voice whispers “J’adore ce truc” (“I love this stuff”). A crossword is filled out before the lens with a single repeated word: Patou.
To lead the new development, LVMH appointed Sophie Brocart as CEO last October. The executive was formerly head of Nicholas Kirkwood, another LVMH group label. The creative direction was entrusted to Guillaume Henry, formerly at Nina Ricci and Carven. The designer will present his first women’s ready-to-wear collection in Paris next September.
Patou is the latest major project for the French luxury group, alongside that of Rihanna’s Fenty, the brand new label created in conjunction with the singer, which was just launched in Paris.
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