PARIS — Raf Simons has passed his first fiscal year at Christian Dior with flying colors.
On Thursday, the French fashion house said profits from recurring operations increased 31 percent in the second half to 108 million euros, or $143.1 million, while revenues in the six months to Dec. 31 climbed 14 percent to 758 million euros, or $1.02 billion, a 20 percent improvement at constant exchange rates.
A Belgian designer, Simons was named Dior’s new artistic director of women’s haute couture, ready-to-wear and accessory collections in 2012. His first designs arrived at retail in February 2013.
“He gave a lot of modernity, but based on the very strong savoir faire of the house,” Dior chief executive officer Sidney Toledano said in an interview. “Now we see the full impact.”
The brand’s “excellent” performance last year was driven by momentum in leather goods, men’s and women’s rtw, and accessories, Dior said.
Kris Van Assche, another Belgian designer, has overseen the Dior Homme men’s collections since 2007.
In leather goods, Toledano cited continued strength of lines like the Diorissimo, Lady Dior and Miss Dior handbags, the latter two fronted by Oscar-winning actresses Marion Cotillard and Jennifer Lawrence, respectively.
The executive noted that Simons gave a new verve to styles like the Lady Dior by bringing striking colors and innovative materials and treatments like dégradé.
In accessories, Toledano highlighted good results in shoes, and a “tremendous success” with fashion jewelry, with its Tribal pearl earrings quickly running out of stock.
Dior also hit a historic record for haute couture sales last year, and posted good results on high jewelry by Victoire de Castellane as well, Toledano said.
In the fourth quarter, sales advanced 14.4 percent to 389 million euros, or $522.3 million, while sales in Dior’s retail network posted an organic gain of 22 percent.
Dior opened 21 units last year — including in Sydney, São Paulo and Vietnam’s Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City — to end the year with about 200 stores.
Toledano recently returned from Jakarta, Indonesia, where Dior opened its second location, and Amsterdam, Florence and Vienna are among retail projects coming in the first half.
Asked about market signals in January and early February, he replied: “So far, the beginning of the year is giving us confidence. The trend is good.”
Toledano is particularly bullish on the U.S. market, given rising consumer confidence and surging tourism. He disclosed that Dior plans to bring its cruise show to New York in early May, noting that Simons’ modernist approach to fashion has been “very, very successful in the U.S.”
For the full year, Dior sales reached 1.42 billion euros, or $1.88 billion, a gain of 14 percent at actual exchange rates and 18 percent stripping out the impact of currency fluctuations. Full-year profits from recurring operations climbed 26 percent to 165 million euros, or $219.1 million.
Dollar figures are converted at average exchange for the periods to which they refer.
French companies report sales quarterly and profits every six months. Results for the Dior fashion house, known as Christian Dior Couture, were released Thursday after the market closed as part of a financial release from Christian Dior SA, parent of luxury giant LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews