PARIS — Claudie Pierlot has opened a store on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées in the French capital, with plans to roll out its new style in other choice locations.
The contemporary Parisian label, which belongs to the SMCP group that also owns Sandro and Maje, plans to expand abroad and the new location is intended to increase the brand’s exposure to an international audience, said Claudie Pierlot chief executive officer Jean-Baptiste Dacquin, who spoke to WWD from a sofa in the new store as guests began streaming in to celebrate its opening.
“It’s a French label that has become a European label and the idea is to grow it into a global brand, and we’ve made it part of our mission to make it one of the favorite brands of active women around the world,” he said.
The new boutique has 1,700 square feet of space and is the first example of a new modern store format that the brand plans to replicate in other places including its Covent Garden flagship in London. Other openings are also in the works, including in Milan and on the Rue Saint-Honoré in Paris, adding to its network of nearly 2,000 sales points around the world.
“We were after a more pure concept that lights up the products,” said Dacquin, pointing to white shelves lined with lighting, that held quilted leather purses and embellished boots. Previously, the label had sought a comfy, Paris Haussmann-style apartment with decorative molding. It also raised the clothing racks and opted for taller mannequins so that clothing would better meet the eye.
The executive and his teams drew up the new store style soon after learning the space was available, working through the August recess.
“The opportunity cropped up practically at the same time as my arrival, and we decided at the same time to work on the new store concept with the idea that it was a chance to emphasize the brand differently,” he added, referring to his recent appointment at the helm of the label. The executive has worked in human resources at Claudie Pierlot since 2012, a period of swift expansion for the label, from nine to 38 countries.
The brand, which is a bit more Parisian and rather “bon chic, bon genre” compared to SMCP’s larger labels Sandro and Maje, in the executive’s description, aims to raise the fashion quotient of its offer.
“We are reinforcing the fashion side of the brand — we are known for our classic ‘bon chic, bon genre’ style, and we don’t want to lose the clientele that comes here for that but we want to enlarge our base of clients on an international level, so we also need to emphasize the brand’s fashion point-of-view,” he said.
The current wave of bourgeois trends in fashion, seen in recent collections offered by luxury labels such as Celine, makes the label all the more relevant, he noted.
“We have a card to play,” Dacquin added.
Like the other brands in the group, Claudie Pierlot is seeking to focus on full-priced sales and to expand the proportion of business it generates from accessories. The label recently introduced jewelry — the first collection was on display in the store, including a chunky gold necklace with chain links of various sizes and a 95 euro price tag. It is also seeking to bulk up services to improve the link between digital and in-store shopping experiences — Claudie Pierlot is offering to deliver shopping bags to a client’s home or hotel, from the new store, for example.
The store also has an infinity mirror with a camera to take photos of clients to “Instagram the purchase,” suggested Dacquin.
SMCP was listed on the Paris stock market in 2017 and is controlled by Chinese textile conglomerate Shandong Ruyi Group. The listing generated funds to fuel the expansion of its fashion labels around the world, including in China, where growth has been particularly fast. SMCP opened its first store in Shanghai in 2013 and now counts more than 100 stores in the country.