CAU STEPS DOWN AS DIRECTOR OF YSL'S RIVE GAUCHE LINE

Byline: Katherine Weisman

PARIS--Maurice Cau has resigned as director of Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche after 21 years with the designer's signature ready-to-wear collection.
His departure was announced Friday by the designer's company, although a YSL executive said Cau actually left about a month ago.
According to Christophe Girard, secretary general of YSL, Cau gave up his post at French apparel manufacturer Groupe Mendes over differences regarding strategy and development for the Rive Gauche label. Mendes holds the license to make and distribute the YSL Rive Gauche collection and YSL's two diffusion lines, Variations and the U.S. version Encore.
Cau could not be reached for comment.
A successor has not been named, but Girard said YSL and Mendes would announcenext week regarding the creation of a new post at Mendes. Girard would not say whether Cau's successor is coming from inside or outside either company.
The creation of a new position at Mendes could imply changes in the structure of YSL ready-to-wear brands, in the form of a consolidation or a possible launch of a new line. Girard would neither confirm nor deny either possibility.
In a statement, YSL president Pierre Berge and Mendes president Leon Cligman thanked Cau for his work in developing the Rive Gauche brand and for the personal contributions the 53-year-old executive made to both the YSL company and Mendes. Neither Berge nor Cligman could be reached for further comment.
Designer Yves Saint Laurent--also in the statement--said it was thanks to Cau that the designer's name became so well known around the world through the network of Rive Gauche stores. Cau managed sales to the approximately 100 Rive Gauche franchised stores around the world, excluding the YSL-owned stores in Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Singapore, Madrid and Deauville, Girard noted. In addition, Cau was responsible for the opening of new franchised stores.

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