Lanvin confirms the appointment of Jean-Philippe Hecquet as CEO

Lanvin has confirmed its appointment of Jean-Philippe Hecquet as CEO. The oldest couture house still in business, which has seen its sales plunge over the past two years and which was acquired at the beginning of 2018 by Chinese group Fosun via its subsidiary Fosun Fashion Group, has said it is “proud to announce this appointment.”

“We think this is a significant and exciting event for Lanvin, which marks the beginning of a new chapter,” commented Joann Cheng, president of the Fosun Fashion Group and of Lanvin, underscoring “the vast experience of Jean-Philippe in the fashion and luxury industries” as well as “his strong entrepreneurial spirit and proven managerial skills.”

Hecquet has over 20 years’ experience in the fashion industry. Over the past four years, he served notably as CEO at SMCP-owned French ready-to-wear label Sandro, driving its growth alongside its founder Evelyne Chétrite.

Previously, the executive spent 14 years at LVMH’s Louis Vuitton, where he had several operational positions between Paris and the United States (serving as the vice-president of North American operations and managing the Canadian subsdiary, amongst others), followed by a stint at Tag Heuer, the watch brand also owned by LVMH, where he was director of international retail.

His appointment comes after the acquisition of the label by the Fosun Fashion Group, which hopes to accelerate the relaunch of the fashion house. “Now that there is a new general manager at Lanvin, the appointment of a creative director is a priority,” commented the label in a press release.

Since the ejection of Alber Elbaz in 2015, Lanvin has failed to regain its creative momentum, despite the best efforts of the two designers that succeeded Elbaz: Bouchra Jarrar, followed by Olivier Lapidus, who was dismissed in March. Since then, the most far-fetched of rumours concerning the creative directorship have swept Paris, but, as the group seems to be suggesting, the arrival of a new creative chief may be announced very soon.



Sonia Rykiel appoints new managing director

Sonia Rykiel appointed Perry Oosting as the brand’s managing director at the last general meeting on 18 July.

Eric Langon, who was the Managing Director of the French fashion house since 2012, is therefore leaving the role and his function as administrator for the business. The executive, former operations manager at Lancel and CFO at Céline, first arrived alongside the first investment into the label from First Heritage Brands. In 2016, the investment fund went on to acquire 100 percent of the French fashion house, shortly after the death of Sonia Rykiel.

In 2016, the label announced its reorganisation, with the intention of reinvigorating the business. Whether it was a change of era or just a bad fit, the brand now has a new head. The Amsterdam-based executive Oosting appears to be the man in whom Marc Loubier, head of First Heritage Brands (which he founded with the powerful Fung family from Hong Kong), has put his trust. As a luxury specialist, former director at Prada, Gucci, and Bulgari, Oosting has worked as the managing director of Clergerie for the past year, another of First Heritage Brand’s subsidiaries amongst other brands including the Belgian leather goods brand Delvaux and Sonia Rykiel Perfume and Beauty.

Sonia Rykiel’s board of directors, headed by Jean-Marc Loubier, consists of a group including Julie de Libran and some close to Fung Investment, such as Monica Tsui, Giles Hefer and Martin Angus.


Micaela Le Divelec Lemmi moves up to Ferragamo CEO

Salvatore Ferragamo has named former Kering executive Micaela le Divelec Lemmi as its new CEO although it’s less of a change than it might have been given that she has been general manager of the company since the spring.

Le Divelec Lemmi, who had been CFO of Kering’s wildly successful Gucci brand, takes up the new role immediately, the Italian luxury company said.

Ferragamo had been without a CEO since February when Eraldo Poletto stepped down, with the firm and the outgoing executive disagreeing over strategy.

The new chief must now inject some dynamism into the brand with results proving lacklustre in recent periods. As it announced its new appointment, the company also said its first half revenue was down 3.4% currency-neutral or 6.2% on a reported basis to €674 million, lower than the €685 million that analysts had predicted. Retail sales fell 5.2% and wholesale was down 7.6%.

Europe and North America both declined and even Asia Pacific revenue dropped 5.5% with China down 1%, although the firm’s own Chinese stores rose 15.5% and Hong Kong rose 32% currency-neutral. Ebitda fell 14.5% to €117 million while net profit dropped 23.1% to €59 million.

A revival really is needed at Ferragamo. In the first half, sales of the product category on which the firm was founded, footwear, fell 5.5% to €285.6 million, while leather bags and accessories edged up only 1.6% to €262.7 million. Perfume fell 8.9% to €38.7 million, despite the launch of its major new scent Amo.

To reverse this decline, Poletto, who has since moved on to become CEO of the Stuart Weitzman brand at Tapestry Inc, had wanted the company to focus more of the firm’s investment cash on digital sales and marketing.

Will the new CEO follow that path? She hasn’t shared her strategy yet but her 20 years of experience at Gucci will certainly have shown her just how a brand can be revived and turned into a must-have.