Zadig & Voltaire President Thierry Gillie has recently appointed Jean-Jacques Guével as new General Manager. According to the label, the new appointment heralds a new, ambitious expansion phase, with the objective of doubling the 2016 revenue of €350 million in three to five years.
Jean-Jacques Guével has enjoyed a successful career in the luxury and retail sectors. He worked in LVMH’s fashion division, first at Louis Vuitton and then for eight years as International Director of Céline. He also formerly worked for luxury accessories brand S.T. Dupont.
The brand positioning of Zadig & Voltaire remains however a touch below that of the leading luxury labels: “The brand has never strayed from this course throughout its existence, it’s our strength: [we have] a unique positioning, between luxury labels and the more accessible ones, with clothes and accessories defined as ‘easy luxury’, in the words of our Creative Director Cécilia Bönström,” said the new General Manager.
His arrival is the mark of the fashion label’s new ambitions. Founder and President Thierry Gillier and the US investment fund TA Associates, which owns 30% of Zadig & Voltaire since 2012, have decided to energise the label’s international expansion drive, in order to reach the €700 million revenue objective.
The Parisian label is already present in about thirty countries with 320 stores, and will rely on two markets to speed up growth: the USA and China. In the USA, an initial expansion drive between 2012 and 2014 led to the opening of 13 stores. The plan now is to recharge the US effort, by also strengthening the business teams. Zadig & Voltaire broadcast a first signal of its intentions last February, with the much-publicised 20th anniversary show in New York, and the opening of a flagship store in Broome Street next July will be the next step.
China is the other major market the label is keen to target. Its presence there in is still limited to two stores in Shanghai and one in Beijing, with another three in Hong Kong and one in Macau.
Zadig & Voltaire will also expand in Australia where a partnership agreement was recently signed. On the domestic market, the label will boost its visibility by opening a 700 m2 flagship store in Rue Cambon, Paris, next June.