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The fashion division of Victorinox AG has appointed London-based designer Christopher Raeburn artistic director. In this new role, Raeburn will provide design ideas and inspiration for the entire range of Victorinox apparel.
This story first appeared in the January 3, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“Christopher will be able to focus a creative eye on the full cycle, from mood board to the retail experience, benefiting the design and marketing teams with which he will be working very closely to improve the perception and performance of the collection,” said Joachim Beer, president of global fashion at Switzerland-based Victorinox.
Raeburn will continue to design his own Christopher Raeburn label, launched in 2008, which incorporates reappropriated military fabrics into men’s and women’s garments. Manufactured in Raeburn’s small East End production facility, the line is carried at Barneys New York, Harvey Nichols, Liberty of London, Isetan and United Arrows.
The designer’s relationship with Victorinox extends back to a fall 2011 capsule collection he created for the brand, dubbed “Remade in Switzerland” and fashioned from surplus Swiss military fabrics. He later designed three additional capsule collections for Victorinox under the Protect label.
“I see a great opportunity to push Victorinox fashion to the next level and I am looking forward to bringing my aesthetic and experience into the main collection,” said Raeburn. The 30-year-old designer won the British Fashion Award for emerging talent in men’s wear in 2011.
While Raeburn will play a key role in shaping the design vision for Victorinox apparel, the company’s design team, based in New York, will continue to report to Joel Tirinanzi, vice president of design. Raeburn reports to Beer and will work with the design team via daily communications and frequent trips from London.
The fashion division accounts for 7 percent of sales at Victorinox AG. Swiss Army knives account for 35 percent, household and professional cutlery for 20 percent, timepieces for 18 percent, travel gear for 14 percent and fragrances for 6 percent. All categories are directly operated by Victorinox AG apart from travel gear, which is licensed to St. Louis-based TRG Group.
About 90 percent of Victorinox apparel sales is in men’s and 10 percent in women’s. Key wholesale partners include Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s and Lord & Taylor.
Victorinox operates eight full-price retail stores and two outlets in North America. This year, the brand will open outlets in San Marcos, Tex., Seattle and Toronto, as well as one full-price store in the Mall of America in Minneapolis. The company also operates units in London, Geneva, Düsseldorf, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Paris and Heidelberg, Germany.