By  on April 30, 2010

Victorinox creative director Pierre-Henri Mattout left the company in March and is relaunching his eponymous men’s wear line, WWD has learned.

A company spokesperson confirmed the departure. Johanne Shepley Siff, the division president who hired Mattout, was replaced this month by Joachim Beer. Siff appointed Mattout in 2008 as part of her overall effort to attract a younger, more fashion-oriented customer to the brand best known for the Swiss Army knife.

As creative director and senior vice president of apparel, Mattout spearheaded not only the mainline apparel collection for men and women, but the launch of a contemporary collection called 1909 as well. The line held a runway show for fall 2009, but has been discontinued while Victorinox refocuses on its core offering of functional, travel-friendly apparel.

When he joined Victorinox, he intended to continue designing his signature men’s line, which he used to show in Paris. But that proved impossible, given his time commitments to Ibach, Switzerland-based Victorinox, he said, so the line was furloughed.

This time, however, the Pierre-Henri Mattout collection will be priced for the premium market, and will be 75 percent shirts.

“The strategy is to create a whole look like the brand was before, but this time, based on the core shirt collection at an affordable price,” he said. “Before, it was very niche and very high priced. I want it to retail [at] $175 for a shirt, $250 for jackets. For today’s world, I think it’s important to price it this way.”

Mattout, who was once the artistic director at Dormeuil, the French textile and fine tailoring house, said the collection would be tailoring inspired, with handmade details such as mother-of-pearl buttons. It will be made in Morocco, as before.

He and partner Michael Barclay will reveal the spring 2011 collection by appointment in June, and expand the offering for fall 2011.

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