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New CEO, new strategy for Cacharel

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today Nov 21, 2012
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Cacharel founder and president Jean Bousquet has revealed three vital changes to the company’s strategy at a Paris conference on Tuesday. He also confirmed the arrival of Richard Alibert (ex-Céline and Bonpoint) as CEO, whose mission it will be to see that these changes are put into place. From 1st November, Alibert took over from Pascal d’Halluin who left the company at the end of his 5-month trial period.

Alibert’s primary mission is to reposition the brand with a strong focus on the French market, bringing prices down by 30 or 40%. “A 1000 euro dress? That is not what Cacharel is about,” says Jean Bousquet, who wishes to see dresses come in around the 300 euro mark. Much like fellow French brands Kenzo and Carven, the brand is looking reposition to come under the contemporary bracket.

The final Cacharel collection to be produced by Aeffe (photo: DR)

In-house Sales and Advertising

Cacharel was reduced to licensing operations during the financial crisis in 2009 and the brand’s only Parisian boutique had to be closed in order to keep jobs in the company. From Autumn-Winter 2013/2014 women’s, men’s and children’s ready-to-wear will be marketed in-house thanks to the new commercial team. The collections will be available in the Paris showroom, with scope for a further 7 international showrooms in the near future (a Japanese showroom in Tokyo has already been confirmed). The rebranded Cacharel will offer a streamlined collection that meets the real demand of the market whilst staying true to Cacharel ideals. The three designs studios will look after each collection respectively with women’s wear being overseen by design duo Ling Liu and Dawei Sun. The labels children’s collection, which is making a comeback, will show at Pitti Bimbo as well as being available in Parisian department store Printemps starting with a test collection for Spring-Summer 2013.

Jean Bousquet, 80 year old, wants to return to Cacharel roots.

French Focus

‘Paris’ will be added to the Cacharel label reflecting the brand’s new focus and new partners will only be looking after manufacturing and delivery. Though these new partners are all French, a large majority of manufacturing and logistics will be based in Portugal, North Africa and Eastern Europe according to Bousquet. As recently announced, Cacharel and Aeffe have ended their contract with the Spring-Summer 2013 collection being the last produced by the Italian group. Production will be taken over by French contractors, insists Bousquet but without divulging any names. For the founder France is a priority market with many looking forward to the return of Cacharel. The Asian, USA and emergent markets will be studied at a later date when Cacharel is firmly back on its feet in France Currently, the brand makes 70% of sales internationally and 70% of all sales are from the perfume license with L’Oréal.

Ready-To-Wear over Luxury

Bousquet noted that sales under Aeffe were not as prosperous as hoped. Aeffe positioned Cacharel as a luxury brand which did not match the brands values. “We never found a good fit when it came to artisitic directors. All these young designers were so focused on the runway,” said the president, who is now more focused on ready-to-wear. However, the brand will continue to show at Paris fashion week. Should the new strategy prove successful, we can expect a Parisian flagship in 2014.

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