Richemont Group sells Lancel

World’s second largest luxury group Richemont, the owner of powerhouse jewelry houses such as Cartier and watchmakers such as Vacheron Constantin or IWC, has embarked earlier this Summer on a re-organization of its non-jewelry/watches division which is made up of several fashion and accessories brands. The first move was to make drastic changes at the top management of the maisons, climaxed by the departure of Marty Wixtrom, the head of the fashion and accessories divisoon of the Richemont Group.

This week, Richemont Group formally confirmed it has appointed Nomura to assist with the sale of ailing French leather goods specialist Lancel, the value of the transaction being expected to reach 500 million euros. Lancel has been one of the under-performing brands of the group for some time, despite continued efforts to re-position the brand and re-build its retail infrastructure, including a global flagship store opened last year in Paris on Champs Elysee.

As for the other maisons of the apparel and accessories division of the group, Richemont seems to be concentrating on Azzedine Alaia, the French couturier brand which has long been building up a huge desirability among discerning women clientele worldwide for both its fashion and accessories, especially shoes – Alaia is opening a brand new couture showroom, including its foundation in a lavish location on Rue Marignan in Paris, later this year.

Although several media have been speculating the other maisons of the group – Alfred Dunhill and Chloe might have the same fate as Lancel, this is highly unlikely, at least not in the short term, the group having invested tremendously in both brands. Dunhill has been diversifying, opening lifestyle destination retail, including cafes and has been focusing on expansion in Asia, where menswear has been growing. As for Chloe, the brand seems to be enjoying stable financial results and, with a possible change of Creative Director, the house might easily re-gain its clout – earlier this year it celebrated 65 years, with several events including a brand new flagship store in Paris on Rue Saint Honore.

Lancel flagship store Champs Elysees, Paris