The French fashion brand has inked a distribution deal with JamilCo Group, a leading Russian luxury brand distributor, as part of an ambitious international growth strategy designed to more than double its revenues by 2016.
Under the terms of the partnership, Paule Ka, known for its retro-flavored Parisian chic, plans to open six freestanding boutiques in Russia during the next four years and enter 20 leading multibrand stores in cities including Moscow, St. Petersburg and Ekaterinburg. At present, it is carried by Moscow department store Tsum.
Serge Cajfinger, chief executive officer and founder of Paule Ka, said the brand has expanded steadily on the international stage since it was founded 25 years ago.
“Today, we are very pleased to announce this major strategic agreement with Russia, a key market for the group. JamilCo appears as the ideal partner to help us increase our presence and visibility in this country by offering Russian clients a direct access to our collections,” he said.
Paule Ka, whose fans include the Duchess of Cambridge, Jennifer Lopez and Kristin Davis, operates in 51 countries and is available in 475 points of sale, including 57 freestanding stores, of which 13 are directly operated.
It plans to have 100 stores worldwide by 2016, of which roughly a quarter will be directly operated, said Antoine Bing, deputy managing director.
The brand posted revenues of 45 million euros, or $57.9 million, in 2012, up 11.5 percent versus the previous year. It is projecting sales of 100 million euros, or $132 million at current exchange, by 2016.
“Our aim today is to double sales between 2012 and 2016. It’s very ambitious, but we posted 40 percent growth between 2009 and 2012, which were crisis years, so it’s perfectly credible — especially since part of this planned development is based on contracts we have already signed in Russia and China,” Bing said.
Though France remains a key market, accounting for 48 percent of the brand’s sales, Bing expects overseas markets to increase their share of the pie to roughly 70 percent within the next four years.
Paule Ka last year signed two distribution agreements in China, which plan for the opening of 34 stores over five years, including two in Shanghai in 2012. It opened a U.S. subsidiary last October and plans to unveil a showroom on Madison Avenue in New York in April. Distribution deals are also under way in South Korea and Taiwan.
Even Europe, where consumer spending is weighed down by ongoing government austerity measures, is delivering growth, according to Bing, who said that eight of the company’s 13 directly operated stores posted record sales last year. “The European market is suffering, but that doesn’t mean Paule Ka is,” he said.
Paule Ka also plans to extend e-commerce from France to other euro zone countries and the U.K. in spring. During Paris Couture Week, it will stage its first outdoor advertising campaign, featuring its spring-summer campaign with Hilary Rhoda and photographed by Venetia Scott.
Though Paule Ka is absent so far from India and Brazil, it expects Russia and China to generate steady growth as customer tastes mature. Women there have grown out of the first phase of luxury development, when logo-laden apparel was used to show off their newfound wealth, Bing noted.
“Since then, they have been caught up by a wealthy middle class with access to the same goods, so logos have become less of a differentiating factor. Now what they are looking for is a more educated, restrained, discreet luxury — and Paule Ka perfectly meets that demand,” Bing said.
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
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye