PARIS — Adding additional management muscle under its new chief executive officer Cédric Charbit, Balenciaga on Wednesday named four additions to its executive committee.
Daphné Cousineau, who has held key international sales roles at Céline, Valentino and Lanvin, was appointed president for Europe — a new position — and charged with overseeing the brand’s performance in the Europe, the Middle East and Africa region for retail, wholesale and franchises.
Laura du Rusquec, in the role of director of strategic projects, is to manage initiatives pertaining to the retail performance of the brand as well as oversee the alignment of the brand strategy across all of the markets and the various departments of the house. Previously, the seasoned executive spent eight years in the role of director of strategy and commercial development of the luxury couture and leather goods division of Kering, the French parent of Balenciaga, Gucci, YSL, Puma and other brands.
With 20 years experience under her belt at companies including the Hay Group, Richemont and Fast Retailing, Caroline Bonnet-Maes, named worldwide human resources director, is to develop the Balenciaga’s human resources strategy, while Alexia de Courcel was named global merchandising director for Balenciaga’s men’s and women’s lines across all categories. Previously, de Courcel was director of ready-to-wear collections at Céline for three years and before that held merchandising roles at various other LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned brands.
The executives will report to Charbit, who was appointed ceo of Balenciaga last November. Charbit, who has a strong merchandising bent, joined the house from Saint Laurent, where he held the roles of vice president of product and marketing, and worldwide communications director. He succeeded longtime Balenciaga ceo Isabelle Guichot, who exited for Kering.
Balenciaga is in the midst of a creative overhaul under Vetements founder Demna Gvasalia. He has brought strong shoulders, streetwise puffer jackets and quirky leather goods to a house that was previously led by designers Alexander Wang and Nicolas Ghesquière, the latter now devoted to women’s collections for Louis Vuitton.