Paul & Joe to launch activewear and to continue expanding in China, USA
Paul & Joe's range is increasingly taking on a lifestyle dimension, as the Parisian fashion label is refining its approach to maximise consistency, while also working on expanding into other segments. For example, it has taken charge internally once more of the footwear collections for the men's and Paul & Joe Sister lines, which had been developed under licence for ten years.
"Since historically our core business is ready-to-wear apparel, said General Manager Jean-Michel Terrien, "we worked with licensees [for footwear] to begin with. But now we have the creative and logistics resources for managing footwear internally. It is also a matter of being consistent in terms of price positioning, especially for Paul & Joe Sister, whose prices are more accessible," he said.
The objective is to lower the prices of the Paul & Joe Sister footwear range from Autumn/Winter 2017-18, in sync with ready-to-wear apparel, and also to streamline operations, with all the footwear and leather goods products for the label's three lines now developed internally.
For new category launches however, Paul & Joe is still calling on outside partners, as is the case for lingerie, home decoration, cosmetics and recently travel goods, with the first 'Paul & Joe Voyageur' collection developed in collaboration with Eastpak, introduced at the start of the year and available for sale from March. "For us it’s a way of adding a new feature to our range, bolstered by the credibility of an expert in the segment in question," said Jean-Michel Terrien.
The same strategy will reportedly be used for the forthcoming launch of Paul & Joe activewear, on which the label founded by Sophie Méchaly is currently working.
The fashion label is keen for its global lifestyle approach to be visible, and this is why entry in any new market is planned in concert with its partners. One of the most important of them is Japanese brand Albion, for beauty products, which is working jointly with Paul & Joe on new expansion projects, for example in China, where the brand was instantly successful: it now operates ten stores in the country, following three recent openings, and is planning another five in 2017, notably in Hong Kong.
"Interesting opportunities are opening up for us right now, because several luxury goods brands are leaving shopping malls, and the latter are turning towards more accessible contemporary brands to recalibrate their offer, making it more consistent with a new kind of purchasing behaviour, less status-oriented and more recreational," said Terrien.
Mainland China is currently Paul & Joe's main growth driver, alongside the USA, where it has opened a showroom after a long period of absence. "We do not depend solely on France and Europe, where we have no openings planned at the moment. Major export markets have allowed us to grow in 2016, despite the difficulties facing the European retail trade," concluded Jean-Michel Terrien.
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