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Published
Sep 3, 2009
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Cacharel reveals artistic director

Published
Sep 3, 2009

“Lady Cacharel” has found her knight. Since the hasty departure of the duo Eley et Kishimoto, the design studio has been maintaining radio silence, preferring to “put an end to the cult of celebrity around designers”. But this confidentiality has now ended with Cédric Charlier, the former assistant of Alber Elbaz at Lanvin, officially taking control of stylistic direction.

Cacharel
"Fashion arts" from Cacharel poster

This year has seen extensive reorganization at Cacharel, both in internal staffing and site presence. A new CEO was found in Marc Ramanantsoa and a consolidation of different services (marketing, commercial, communication) along with spending cuts – including the pivotal closure of the group’s site in Nîmes and the restructuring of its retail network – was a key step towards recentering the brand. After all this there still remained the task of find a leader for the design studio; a problem which has now been solved with the arrival of Cédric Charlier.

In the past two years, Cacharel’s style has been difficult to place. A merry-go-round of designers has been seen at the studio since the departure of Clements et Ribeiro, including brief periods of residence from Estrella Archs then Eley et Kishimoto. Considering the design brief of the company, Mr Ramanantsoa stated that “we must make our collections durable from now on, ensuring follow-up. There is a great deal of expectation as we want to recapture the success of the 70’s. For this, we are recentering ourselves on our founding values: romanticism, freshness and audacity”.

The former assistant to Alber Elbaz at Lanvin, the new artistic director at Cacharel will present his first collection at the Parisian Fashion Week. Against all expectations, the brand has chosen to make a return with great pomp, not only as a figure in the womenswear media but also on the podiums. Therefore it will be at the Palais de Tokyo on the 3rd of October that the brand’s new collection will be shown. The collection was labeled as “identifying” by Cacharel’s director, who also claimed that it “will have nothing to do with vintage”, more removed, featuring graphic cuts, superpositions, creations that play with materials and lines which aim to renew the range without losing the point of view at the heart of the house. Conscient that the notoriety of the brand has been gradually decreasing, damage by an “old-fashioned” tag, the new team wants to make a strong impression with “an upmarket section, resolutely fashionable, with a return to the fundamentals of the house.”

A first step has been made with the Liberty operation. More unexpected than hopeless, this was a new dawn for the brand. Re-editions presented by Liberty attracted a number of buyers, of which many had strayed from the brand for several seasons. The majority of these buyers are continuing their collaboration with the new collection which will be presented in June. Europe has therefore become fertile ground. With a number of closures, notably the boutique on the Rue Bonaparte in Paris, Cacharel has moved into multibrand stores with a meticulously thought out range. In Japan, where the brand has already seen a golden period there remains a rosy outlook and in the USA department stores such as Barneys have been intrigued. But, above all, it is in France that the brand is hoping to be reborn as it is a country in which they consider themselves to “have a real legitimacy”.

By Jonathan Fulwell (Source: Emilie-Alice Fabrizi)

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