There’s nothing like mixing business with a little pleasure. Andrew Rosen, president and chief executive officer of Link Theory Holdings, took advantage of a working trip to Paris to drop in on a party thrown by parent company Fast Retailing for three fellow group brands. The bash, held in the recently renovated Salomon de Rothschild mansion, marked three anniversaries: 25 years for Princesse Tam Tam, 15 for Comptoir des Cotonniers and one year since the opening of the Uniqlo flagship in the Opéra district. Guests including Noisettes singer Shingai Shoniwa, Henry Holland, Zoé Felix and rapper Claude “MC” Solaar wandered through rooms featuring animations like makeover stations and a piano karaoke.
Rosen was in town to sell the Theyskens Theory collection, unveiled at New York Fashion Week, and said he hoped to prolong the collaboration with designer Olivier Theyskens. “It’s certainly something that we look forward to continuing,” Rosen said. “Europe is an area that we’re very interested in and feel [is] a big opportunity. I think that for Theory, the alliance with Olivier Theyskens will help us here in Europe a lot.” The brand, which is sold in department stores Printemps and Galeries Lafayette, has closed its standalone store on Rue Bonaparte and hopes to reopen in a larger Paris location next year, he added.
Fast Retailing, meanwhile, wants to build on its success in Paris to rapidly open dozens of additional larger format stores across Europe, said Nobuo Domae, ceo of Fast Retailing France. “We aim to open an additional 300 stores in Europe by 2020, with average sales of $30 million per store,” he revealed. Marianne Romestain, managing director of Comptoir des Cotonniers, noted the brand was at a turning point. “I think the biggest challenge for Comptoir is making the transition from a French company with stores overseas to a truly international company whose clothes reflect French style,” she said. Romestain hopes overseas sales will account for 75 percent of the company’s turnover by 2020, versus 35 percent today.