Comptoir des Cotonniers Names Creative Director

Anne Valérie Hash joins the French contemporary chain after running her own label.

PARIS — Comptoir des Cotonniers on Tuesday named Anne Valérie Hash its new creative director.

This story first appeared in the June 11, 2014 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

A spokesman for the brand, controlled by Japanese retail giant Fast Retailing Co. Ltd., said the first complete collection under her purview would likely be for the fall 2015 fashion season.

Hash succeeds Amélie Gillier, who left the company in November.

The appointment represents a soft landing for Hash, who earlier this year shuttered her signature label amid challenging economic times for independent fashion companies.

One of French fashion’s smallest but bravest entrepreneurs, Hash launched her label in 2001 and found a niche with her plays on the masculine-feminine dichotomy and such signature silhouettes as jumpsuits and tuxedos. She started out showing during the Paris couture schedule in a bid to stand out from the ready-to-wear fray.

Hash is the latest in a string of new hires at Fast Retailing Co. Ltd., also parent of Uniqlo and Link Theory.

In November, the Japanese firm named Nancy Pedot the new chief executive officer of Comptoir des Cotonniers and Princesse Tam Tam. An American, Pedot was previously president and ceo of children’s wear firm Gymboree and retailer Party City Corp.

And in January, Fast Retailing tapped Lars Nilsson as artistic director in residence for Comptoir des Cotonniers and Princesse Tam Tam, a more global role overseeing the two Paris-based brands. The Swede had previously designed for Bill Blass, Nina Ricci and Gianfranco Ferré.

It is understood Hash reports to Pedot.

Pedot was traveling Tuesday and unavailable for comment, however, she had previously said Nilsson would be “dedicated to accompanying the implementation of a research and development project in terms of creative inspirations, trends, style, silhouettes and fabric.”

Founded in 1995, Comptoir des Cotonniers sits alongside other buzzy French contemporary brands such as The Kooples, Zadig & Voltaire, Sandro and Maje.