PARIS — Hair accessories aficionados have a new haunt here. On Tuesday, a concept boutique called 235 Saint-Honoré opened at that address.
The 270-square-foot store near Place Vendôme is the brainchild of Sébastien Bailly, president and chief executive officer of Alexandre de Paris. That brand’s offering takes up the right-hand side upon entering the streamlined retail space designed by Buttazzoni et Associés. On the left are hair accessories Alexandre de Paris’ holding company Bailly Créations manufactures and distributes for the Jean Paul Gaultier, Paule Ka, Lefranc-Ferrant and Odile Gilbert brands.
Gilbert, who attended 235 Saint-Honoré’s opening cocktail party, called her often translucent, brightly colored hairpins “a bit like candies.”
Also sold at the store is the signature 235 Saint-Honoré brand owned by Bailly Créations. Bailly’s wife, Fabienne Bailly, designs the 235 Saint-Honoré- and Alexandre de Paris-branded hair accessories.
All of the items carried in 235 Saint-Honoré are handmade in France. And, as with fashion collections, each line’s products will be changed at least every six months.
“We want to be the boutique for luxurious hair accessories,” said Bailly, who added that “luxurious” isn’t necessarily synonymous with astronomically highly priced. The 235 Saint-Honoré store’s items, including hair clips and headbands, among other hair accessories, range from approximately 20 euros, or $26.70 at current exchange, to a few thousand euros for a fur-adorned hair ornament. However, Bailly expects 70 to 80 percent of the 235 Saint-Honoré business to stem from products priced between 20 euros and 300 euros, or $400.70.
The least expensive, gold-plated “crazy crab” hair grips, which are injected with crushed shells to give a pearl-like effect, will be key for the 235 Saint-Honoré concept’s expansion, particularly in the U.S. (where the strategy is to target department stores) and in perfumeries, said Bailly.
Other growth plans include the debut of a 235 Saint-Honoré corner in Paris’ Galeries Lafayette flagship and a location in Shanghai later this month. Two boutiques are expected in Japan by yearend or early 2011. Spaces in London, Monaco and elsewhere in Europe are also on the docket. Bailly explained the stores are to be either wholly owned or franchised.
He is looking to sign on new designer names, as well.
A 235 Saint-Honoré e-tail site should be up and running by summertime, said Bailly, who anticipates online sales will ring up 15 to 20 percent of the new concept’s overall business.
Bailly wouldn’t discuss sales projections, but industry sources estimate the 235 Saint-Honoré location in Paris will generate 1 million euros, or $1.3 million, at retail in its first 12 months. Within five years, the concept is expected to make 30 million euros, or $40.1 million, in wholesale revenues globally, according to the industry sources.
Bailly bought a company that owned the worldwide rights to Alexandre de Paris products and its European distribution five years ago. It had been his hair accessories manufacturing business’ main customer. Alexandre de Paris has 137 locations (including freestanding boutiques and shop-in-ships) around the world.
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