PARIS — Jean Paul Gaultier has recruited a top merchant from Le Bon Marché to assume the management helm, WWD has learned.
Retail veteran Christine Chapellu, director of women’s wear buying at the Left Bank department store, is to become general manager of Gaultier.
She will report to Ralph Toledano, president of the fashion division at Puig, the Barcelona-based fragrance and fashion group that is the parent of Gaultier in addition to Nina Ricci, Carolina Herrera and Paco Rabanne.
Chapellu arrives at Gaultier at a time when a new product line, Gaultier 2, is coming on stream. That’s the name of the designer’s new streetwear line for men and woman, debuting for spring 2014 under a new licensing agreement with Italian manufacturer Ittierre SpA.
The appointment fills a management void at the Paris fashion house, and readies the company for a new phase.
Manuel Puig, vice chairman of Puig, briefly took on the president’s title at Gaultier in 2011 when the group purchased the 45 percent of the fashion house held by Hermès International and roughly 15 percent from the founding couturier.
The designer himself had briefly taken on business responsibilities following the exit in August 2010 of president Véronique Gautier, who became Giorgio Armani general manager at L’Oréal Luxe.