By  on February 1, 2007

PARIS — Beefing up management ranks to propel future growth, Celine has appointed a new number two: Pascale Lepoivre, who joined the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned fashion house from sister brand Louis Vuitton on Jan. 16.

Lepoivre, previously director of the fashion and leather goods division at Vuitton and a 10-year veteran of that company, becomes Celine’s executive vice president, a new post, reporting to president and chief executive officer Serge Brunschwig, also a Vuitton alumnus.

Brunschwig said Lepoivre would oversee the business unit — from creative and manufacturing to marketing functions — for leather goods, shoes and other accessories, including licensed products. Those categories account for “a good half” of the Celine business, Brunschwig said. “We have strong legitimacy and strong ambitions in leather goods.”

These include bolstering the access-price segments of leather goods, which span prestige, “high fashion” and signature designs, he noted. A graduate of the prestigious HEC business school, Lepoivre started her career as a product manager at pen firm Waterman, ultimately moving to ST Dupont and, in 1995, Vuitton.

Also, Jean-Jacques Guevel has been promoted to international director, another new post at Celine. Previously, he was director of Europe and travel retail for Celine. Brunschwig said Guevel would oversee both wholesale and retail at Celine, which is present in some 50 countries and has a mix of fully owned stores and franchises.

Another HEC graduate, Guevel’s résumé also includes stints at Vuitton and ST Dupont. He started his career as an internal auditor with oil firm Total Fina Elf and joined Celine in October 2004.

Since joining Celine in March, Brunschwig has been building his teams to reinforce what he calls the company’s “operational excellence” as it aims to become a star brand in the LVMH stable. Market sources estimate Celine’s volume at around $200 million, and it operates some 110 stores, concentrated in Asia and Europe.

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