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Baccarat Names James Taffin de Givenchy Creative Head

He will oversee the design of all the company’s collections, including home, decor, lighting and jewelry.

Baccarat has appointed James Taffin de Givenchy creative director, effective immediately.

This story first appeared in the October 1, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

De Givenchy will oversee the design of all the company’s collections, including home, decor, lighting and jewelry. His first efforts will be presented in spring. He also will work with the artists and designers Baccarat commissions for special collections, who in the past have included Salvador Dalí, Andrée Putman, Ettore Sottsass, Philippe Starck and, most recently, Jaime Hayon.

De Givenchy, 49, the son of Jean Claude Taffin de Givenchy and nephew of Hubert de Givenchy, will continue to design his own New York-based jewelry collection, called Taffin, which will remain separate from his duties at Baccarat.

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Markus Lampe, who was named Baccarat’s chief executive officer in August 2011, said de Givenchy was chosen for his experience as a jeweler and knowledge of the luxury goods sector, which “will bring us the creative momentum that will enable us to continue spreading and developing Baccarat’s lifestyle internationally in the 21st century.”

De Givenchy, who will divide his time between France and New York, told WWD that he was attracted to the role because of the 250-year-old Baccarat’s heritage, the experienced artisans at its factory in eastern France and the opportunity to become involved in design work beyond jewelry. “It is a tremendous challenge,” he said. “I want to bring Baccarat into the 21st century and see it lead the world of crystal. It has a tremendous DNA and heritage and the archives are amazing. It’s a chance to go into them and see what is relevant for today, because so much is relevant. Jewelry is very important to the brand but there is so much more that can be done there, as well as in lighting and objects and even in furniture. It is a wonderful opportunity.”

He has Baccarat in his family’s history. One of his great-great-grandfathers was the famed interior decorator Henri Duponchel, who used Baccarat crystal in decorating the Paris Opera, as well as in a palace in Turkey.

Baccarat is known mainly for its stemware and chandeliers. Jewelry represents less than 20 percent of its revenue. The company earlier this month revealed plans to invest 8.6 million euros, or $11.1 million at current exchange, in its manufacturing operations in Baccarat, France, to cope with increased demand and future expansion. The investment includes a new furnace and related equipment, and was the first major move at the company since Catterton Partners became a shareholder via a capital increase. Starwood Capital Group remains a shareholder.