Etam makes a splash in Saint-Tropez
Under a slighlty cloudy sky, Etam presented a summer show in Saint-Tropez on Thursday May 11 to unveil its beach looks for 2023. On the quai de la Pesquière, late afternoon, about fifty models with various figures walked the runway in a very festive atmosphere, in front of 200 guests, who sat at tables, that had been set up like a French café terrace on each side of the silver runway.
The main colour was red seeing as the French lingerie chain had partnered with the famous local café, Sénéquier, which set up its folding chairs for the occasion. The first looks of the show were in the colours of the Saint-Tropez café, with scarlet outfits, red two-pieces with white piping, and vice versa.
With a playlist of remixed pop classics in the background, the smiling models (including Constance Jablonski and Mélodie Vaxelaire) then walked out wearing a whole different palette, with a series of pink pieces, then blue and neon green, black, white and finally silver. All the looks are available for sale and made from 100% recycled polyester.
Several of the bikinis and bodysuit were adorned with metallic details and accessories including belts, buckles, chains and more. Etam also collaborated with glass artisans from the New York collective Home in Heven, who made glass additions to some of the swimwear, such as a snake winding around the model's breast.
Guests included actresses and influencers such as Iris Mittenaere, Maïwenn, Caroline Receveur, Shirine Boutella and Stéfi Celma. The show - which was broadcast live on Instagram, Tiktok and Etam's e-shop, ended with an impromptu dance among the guests, before the evening continued at Sénéquier's on the port.
After holding its first cruise show in Corsica last year (which was criticised for the express plane journey), the lingerie brand chose an iconic location in France and had their guests travel by train. "Saint-Tropez is the most famous French beach resort: with a view to the opening of our first American boutique in Miami in July, it's no coincidence," explains Laurent Milchior, the group's director and Etam's general manager, who has been assisted by Benjamin Durand-Servoingt since Feburary. The latter became the company's deputy CEO after having directed the group's operations.
The brand with 660 shops (420 of which are in France) entered the United States last year through a dozen corners at Nordstrom, which are working "fairly well", and intends to open two other shops in the American market by the end of the year. "These points of sale will allow us to see what works and what doesn't, and then to expand in the country. Our progress in neighbouring Mexico, where we are going to set up five new shops in 2023, gives us confidence," adds the manager.
Etam is claiming just under 600 million euros in annual sales in 2022, better than in 2021 but not 2019 levels. Despite the difficulties of the consumer sector, affected by inflation, the company did not cut back on its marketing and communication expenses, especially not for this second annual fashion show. "It would be the last budget we cut! We have to get people talking about the brand through these special events, and continue to make our targeted consumer's dreams," he says.
Benjamin Durant-Servoingt agrees: "People are more selective in their spending, we have to trigger the purchase!" Etam's lower prices have not changed, but the mid-range products have gone up a few euros, while more premium pieces have been introduced.
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