PARIS — Charles Jourdan has a new owner.
The French luxury footwear and accessories brand, which had estimated sales last year of $82 million, has been acquired by Luxembourg-based Lux Diversity SA from Switzerland’s Remer Holding AG. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Lux Diversity is a holding company created by two former minority Jourdan shareholders, Serge Krancenblum, who has become president of Charles Jourdan Holding AG’s board of directors, and Michel de Tapol, now president and managing director of Charles Jourdan France.
Founded in 1921 by French shoemaker Charles Jourdan, the firm has a rich history. It opened its first store in 1957 in Paris and reached its zenith in the Seventies, when its platform shoes became an integral part of the disco scene. Lately, however, the firm has struggled to maintain its sales and achieve profitability against what it called “significant losses.” In late 2002, Jourdan said it would let go of one-third of its workforce — about 295 employees — and shutter the 15 shops it had opened in the U.S. It still operates stores around the world, in locales including Madrid, Bangkok, Kuwait City and Tokyo.
This year, the firm has begun revving up its image. In January, it named London-based shoe designer Patrick Cox as the brand’s creative director. Cox is due to introduce his first full collection next spring, after having shown a capsule collection of 40 pieces last April for fall. In his first collection, Cox infused the collection with items such as Lucite and metallic mules and T-strap pimps, as well as an acrylic sandal with a 5-inch heel and an ankle strap that dangles miniature disco balls.