PARIS — Suggesting brands are more potent than the famous designers behind them, revenues at Christian Dior Couture sprinted ahead 17.6 percent in the third quarter to 260 million euros, or $368 million.
This story first appeared in the October 20, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
In the nine months to Sept. 30, sales at the fashion house advanced 18.7 percent to 705 million euros, or $992 million. At constant exchange rates, the increase stood at 21 percent.
Dior said sales in its own boutiques fared even better, rising 27 percent at constant exchange rates in the nine months. The company trumpeted momentum across all geographies and product lines, “notably ready-to-wear, leather goods and watches.”
Dior officials were not available Wednesday to elaborate on the numbers.
According to market sources, a variety of leather lines contributed to the gains, including the Lady Dior, Granville and Miss Dior ranges, the latter appearing in an advertising campaign featuring Oscar-winning French actress Marion Cotillard. It is understood men’s wear and watches, led by the new Dior VIII line, also put in a good showing.
In recent years, Dior has embarked on an upscaling drive in its boutiques and product ranges. It has also weeded out wholesale clients, preferring to focus on directly operated stores.
Dior has yet to name a successor to John Galliano, the acclaimed couturier who was ousted in March in the wake of racist and anti-Semitic outbursts. Since that time, collections have been designed by Dior’s studio, headed by Bill Gaytten, a longtime Galliano collaborator.
Negotiations with Marc Jacobs, currently artistic director at Louis Vuitton, to become Dior’s next couturier have been progressing, sources said this week. It is understood Celine’s design star, Phoebe Philo, remains the preferred candidate to succeed Jacobs at Vuitton should the American designer conclude a deal with Dior.
In a recent interview, Dior chief executive officer Sidney Toledano indicated any announcement is “several weeks” away.
Dior’s robust performance closely echoes that of sister company LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, which on Tuesday said sales in the third quarter advanced 17.6 percent to 6.01 billion euros, or $8.51 billion.
Christian Dior SA is the holding company for LVMH and Christian Dior Couture. It reported nine-month sales rose 14.9 percent to 16.99 billion euros, or $23.9 billion.
Dollar figures are converted from euros at average exchange rates for the periods in question.