Paco Rabanne’s new, lower price positioning pays dividends
In April 2017, Bastien Daguzan, formerly in charge of French fashion label Lemaire, took over as General Manager of Paco Rabanne from Anouck Duranteau-Loeper, who had left for Isabelle Marant. In an interview with FashionNetwork.com, Daguzan talked about the relaunch of the label belonging to the Puig group - also the owner of Nina Ricci, Carolina Herrera and Jean Paul Gaultier - now seeking to win over a younger clientèle thanks to a brand image make-over and a new price positioning.
FNW: What is your role in Paco Rabanne's return into the limelight?
B.D.: Paco Rabanne is a long-established brand with a powerful DNA. Though it’s a major name, it can also be likened to a start-up, as the label is in the midst of a complete relaunch. We want to generate energy around Paco Rabanne, and transform this dynamic into a method for rebuilding the brand. It is interesting to see there are companies with strong Creative Directors or lead designers which need to be supported in the business side of things. I was able to do this recently for the label of Belgian designer Kris Van Assche, who was also in charge of Dior's menswear line, and with [Christophe] Lemaire, who [besides having his own label] also wore the Hermès and Uniqlo hats. We want to remain a human-scale business, though we are keen to progress in terms of brand image, for example by establishing a link with our fragrances.
FNW: Creative Director Julien Dossena defined this development as being about becoming a "global brand" again; what does this mean?
B.D.: Nowadays, Paco Rabanne has a twin dimension: fragrances and ready-to-wear apparel. The idea is to foster synergies between the two categories. For the time being this is a complex equation, but it's by no means an impossible one to solve. Being a global brand is extremely important. Many brands differentiate their various segments. Our thinking is different: we strive to maintain a balance between the two, while letting each of them express themselves in as appropriate a fashion as possible, since they have different targets. For example, the success of the Bodyline sportswear/underwear line allowed us to reflect on this business, which is capitalising on the lifestyle trend, and transfer what we came up with to the ready-to-wear line. The new generation has caught on, and is flocking to the store we opened in rue Cambon, Paris, in January 2016. They are 20 to 40 years-old, with an average age of around 35. It's interesting to see we are able to attract this category of people, and we are keen to lead them to ready-to-wear.
FNW: How are you implementing this?
B.D.: We have revised prices downward. We went back to the drawing board, starting from the retail concept, and taking into account consumers' expectations. Our prices were too high to attract a younger clientèle, so we cut average prices by 25 to 30%, down to about €400 for the Spring/Summer 2018 collection. This work has paid dividends. We produced twice as much this season, with an extra 20% in orders.
Read the full interview on FashionNetwork Premium.
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