PARIS — LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton on Tuesday appointed Jean-Christophe Babin, Tag Heuer’s longtime chief executive officer, as the new ceo at Bulgari.
This confirms a report in WWD on Jan. 14 that Babin would take the management helm of the Roman jewelry house, which falls under the watches and jewelry division of LVMH headed by Francesco Trapani. Babin is expected to take up the post in the coming months.
Babin succeeds Michael Burke, who headed Bulgari from February to December 2012, when he was named to succeed Jordi Constans as chairman and ceo of Louis Vuitton.
Of French and Italian nationality, Babin is a graduate of the prestigious HEC Business School in Paris. He started his career in 1983 at Procter & Gamble in France in a variety of commercial and marketing roles, going on to work for Benckiser and Henkel in Italy.
He joined Tag in 2000 and orchestrated what LVMH described as a“remarkable development.”
His successor at the Swiss watchmaker, famous for sports watches and chronographs worn by celebrities including Leonardo DiCaprio and Maria Sharapova, has yet to be named.
During his tenure at Tag, Babin oversaw the brand’s retail expansion, adding up to 30 stores per year. He also experienced chronic shortages for some of Tag’s top sellers, including the Carrera and the Ladies’ Aquaracer.
In one of the headline luxury deals of 2011, LVMH took control of Bulgari in a cash-and-share swap valued at more than $6 billion.
Babin’s appointment suggests Bulgari is keen to seize on its potential in watches, which Burke had characterized as “way below potential.”
This category — which in the past has been problematic at times for the jeweler — is the second-largest business for Bulgari, which recently reined in the expansion of its leather goods.
More than a decade ago, the firm solidified its watchmaking back office, buying top suppliers such as Gerald Genta and Daniel Roth, and the labels’ production facilities, Manufacture de Haute Horlogerie SA, which has allowed Bulgari to produce watches entirely in-house.
Organic revenues at LVMH’s watches and jewelry division gained 6 percent in 2012 to 2.84 billion euros, or $3.65 billion at current exchange.
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye