CELINE’s major international statement with two new flagship openings

French fashion maison of CELINE, fully owned by LVMH Group, has announced the opening of two new major flagships, one in New York on Madison Avenue and one on Paris, on Rue Francois 1er. Along with Givenchy, Emilio Pucci and Kenzo, Celine has been one of the ”dormant” fashion houses within the LVMH Group, in the shadow of power brands such as Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs and Fendi.

The major overhaul of the LVMH fashion division, this year, was started by Italian house of Emilio Pucci, which has opened a new flagship and hired a new top management team, including a new CEO.

Under the creative direction of Phoebe Philo and the management of CEO Marco Gobbetti, CELINE is expecting a double digit growth in 2011, following a two year restructuring plan, which included the closure of directly operated stores in London, Moscow, Paris and all U.S. stores except Bal Harbour, Florida, leaving Celine with a total number of 70 stores. Since the successful first years of 2000, when Michael Kors used to head the creative direction, Celine has had a rough ride, accummulating losses, mainly due to a lack of positioning, product range and design.

Celine has been among the few LVMH brands which have maintained a feeble online presence, limiting deliberately e-commerce, in order to be able to control distribution. The brand is now sold in 400 doors worlwide and sales within department stores are expected to have the highest increase in 2011, with a growing buzz and implicitly demand. The company’s CEO also indicated that the product range will continue to be reduced in order to create a feasible offering.    

adapted from WWD