Olivier Saillard Stages Cafe Performance for J.M. Weston

J.M. Weston has tapped a luxury executive with plenty of experience in Asia as its new president, WWD has learned.

Marc Durie, global head of the men’s shoe division and CRM department at Christian Louboutin since September 2016, starts today in the role.

Durie succeeds Thierry Oriez, who has exited the luxury shoemaker to pursue new projects, and reports to Valérie Hermann, president of the fashion and luxury division of private investment firm EPI, which includes Bonpoint and J.M. Weston.

A graduate of EM Lyon Business School, Durie previously worked underneath Hermann at Yves Saint Laurent when he was president of the Asia-Pacific region and she was ceo of the Kering-owned fashion house. He started his fashion career in 1999 at Louis Vuitton as a product manager for men’s shoes, rejoining the French leather goods giant from 2011 to 2013 as vice president of merchandising, Asia-Pacific. From 2013 to 2016, he was president of J.Mendel in New York.

His arrival at J.M. Weston was revealed in a letter to staff signed by Christopher Descours, president of the Paris-based family holding, and seen by WWD. It said Durie would “be responsible for implementing the brand’s development strategy, particularly its collections and its internationalization.…Marc’s arrival should mark yet another acceleration stage for J.M. Weston.”

Founded in 1891 in France’s Limousin region, J.M. Weston counts about 45 boutiques in the world, mainly in Europe and Japan, and has been eyeing expansion in the U.S. and Asia, and growing its women’s category, which accounts for less than 10 percent of revenues. In 2018, it tapped renowned fashion curator Olivier Saillard as its artistic, image and culture director.

EPI’s other properties include French bootmaker F. Pinet, the Champagne houses Piper-Heidsieck and Charles Heidsieck, and the winemakers Biondi-Santi, Château La Verrerie and Tardieu-Laurent.

In 2019, its investment division took a 20 percent stake in Biologique Recherche, the cult French skin-care brand with an institute on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. It also holds 30 percent of French shirtmaker Figaret.

EPI’s roots are in retail and real estate. Descours’ grandfather led Group André, later known as Vivarte, from 1960 to 1996 and the family sold its shares in those French shoe and fashion chains in 2003 and 2007, shifting its focus to more high-end brands.