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Marianne Romestain Tapped as Lancel CEO

Most recently president of Gérard Darel, Romestain also served as managing director at Comptoir des Cotonniers and Fast Retailing France.

PARIS — Lancel, owned by Compagnie Financière Richemont SA, has named Marianne Romestain chief executive officer.

This story first appeared in the February 7, 2014 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The French leather goods maker said she would “move forward with the repositioning of the brand initiated by the group in 2012.”

Romestain succeeds Fabrizio Cardinali, who joined the Paris-based company in October 2012 and exited in June 2013 to become ceo of another Richemont brand, Alfred Dunhill, while still serving on Lancel’s supervising committee.

Last September, Nicole Stulman took over the creative direction of Lancel, following the relocation of longtime designer Leonello Borghi to New York.

Romestain’s arrival was effective Jan. 20, but only disclosed on Thursday.

Romestain began her luxury career at the Richemont-owned Cartier, “where she held several key managerial positions in France and internationally,” according to the company. Most recently president of Gérard Darel, Romestain also served as managing director at Comptoir des Cotonniers and Fast Retailing France.

Romestain joins Lancel following speculation about the brand’s future within Richemont. Last year, the Swiss luxury group appointed Nomura Securities to explore a sale of the accessories brand. However, Johann Rupert, Richemont’s chairman and principal shareholder, ultimately pledged the group’s loyalty to its “soft luxury players.”

The group revealed long-term investments in that division — comprising Lancel, Chloé, Dunhill, Shanghai Tang, Purdey, Azzedine Alaïa and Peter Millar — to center on “retail stores and points of sale,” according to Richemont’s chief financial officer Gary Saage.

Saage said these “could be significant,” with overall capital expenditure at Richemont standing at 800 million euros, or $1.08 billion, a year.