By and  on June 14, 2007

PARIS — Cacharel, the French fashion firm known for its spirited contemporary sportswear, has parted ways with Inacio Ribeiro and Suzanne Clements, its artistic directors of the last seven years, WWD has learned.

Esther Angula, 33, who worked with the duo at Cacharel after graduating from London's Central Saint Martins in 1999, has been appointed as their replacement.

The Spanish-born designer worked with Christian Lacroix at Emilio Pucci and also has served as consultant to Prada, said Jean Bousquet, who founded Cacharel in 1958.

"She understands the Cacharel spirit," said Bousquet, who added the change was made "because the collections weren't selling very well. We'd strayed too far from the Cacharel spirit. We'd gone too designer. The stores were complaining. It was time for a change."

Clements and Ribeiro's swan song for the firm will be the spring 2008 collection, Bousquet said. Whether it will be shown on the Paris runway is still up in the air, he added.

Angula will make her debut for the house next spring, for the fall 2008 selling season.

Meanwhile, Bousquet said the house also parted ways with its general manager, Chrystel Abadie-Truchet. Bousquet said she left for "personal reasons." He said a replacement would be recruited.

Cacharel, which has revenues of about $50 million, has been trying to step on the gas recently after a few years of restructuring. Last year, it opened a flagship on the Left Bank here, which was followed by a store on the Rue Saint-Honoré. It also introduced a less expensive line called Baby Jane.

Reached on Wednesday, Ribeiro said, "We are leaving. We resigned two months ago and it was amicable." He declined further comment.

However, a source close to the two said they wanted to focus their energies on relaunching Clements Ribeiro as a smaller, more customer-focused label. In the meantime, Clements and Ribeiro have designed a one-off collection for Couture Lab, the high-end London retailer, which will launch in November, and they are working on their second collection for the Blossom maternity and baby label. They also launched a footwear collection for fall 2007.

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