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Printemps to Revive Brummell Men’s Brand

Retailer is relaunching its private label men’s wear collection to fill a gap in the market for stylish and affordably priced clothes.

Appeared In
Special Issue
Men'sWeek issue 03/03/2011

PARIS — Printemps is relaunching its private label men’s wear collection, Brummell, to fill a gap in the market for stylish and affordably priced clothes.

This story first appeared in the March 3, 2011 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Printemps reintroduced the brand — founded in 1930 but dormant for the last five years — early last month in its stores in Rouen and Vélizy, France, and then rolled it out to its Paris flagship on Boulevard Haussmann in addition to Parly, Lyon, Metz and Lille, France, with a full rollout in its network of 17 stores expected in the fall.

The renewed focus on its private label follows a wide-ranging effort to move Printemps upscale, following its $1.33 billion sale in 2006 by French retail-to-luxury group PPR SA to a consortium that includes the Borletti Group, which owns Italian department store chain La Rinascente.

Printemps also offers its own label knitwear and accessories for women and men.

“We have stabilized our strategy and we have given our customers and our partners a clear indication of where we are heading. Now we can focus on other things and put the emphasis on our own products,” said Tancrède de Lalun, merchandise manager for men’s and women’s wear at Printemps.

The retailer identified a gap in the midprice segment and will offer two-button suits, mostly made of Italian wool, at prices ranging from 375 euros to 595 euros, or $500 to $800. Details include half-moon pocket stitches and comfort pleats in the jacket lining.

Its casual offer includes jackets ranging from 315 euros to 345 euros, or $420 to $460, and sweaters priced at 85 euros, or $115. All dollar rates are calculated at current exchange.

The line is being sold in dedicated spaces within Printemps stores, including a 700-square-foot boutique at the Haussmann store. All feature an Art Deco-style gray facade, gray parquet floors and matching carpet, ebony fittings and marble tabletops.

The Brummell logo has been revamped in a modernized Thirties typeface, and hangtags and bags will feature a stylized silhouette of a man in a top hat — the historic symbol of the brand, which was named after British dandy Beau Brummell.

The relaunch is being supported by the distribution of 400,000 catalogues and a press advertising campaign featuring Belgian actor François Vincentelli, scheduled to break this month.