Laurence Franklin has been appointed chief executive officer of luxury linen, home accessories and at-homewear company Frette Srl.
This story first appeared in the July 29, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
He will report to Frette’s board of directors, said Jeff Hansen, a partner of parent company JH Partners LLC and chairman of Frette, who has served as Frette’s ceo since 2009.
Franklin, who has more than 25 years of international management experience in the fashion, accessories and cosmetics industries, has a record of creating high performing businesses and valued brands, and working constructively with private equity and institutional investors, said Hansen.
Franklin’s background and experience are “well-suited to lead our growth and development plans for the business,” said Hansen.
“I am confident our partnership will be successful. Frette has a great history supplying customers with some of the most beautiful home products in the world, and I believe Laurence will represent the brand well,” said Hansen. “We have a lot going on and the primary focus for Laurence is company growth. That’s what he was hired to do at Frette. We have a new store format, a successful diffusion brand, Edmond, and management in place. So all we’re waiting for is for Laurence to work his magic.”
Frette is projected to generate combined wholesale and retail sales of 95 million euros, or $135.8 million, in fiscal 2011, up from 87 million euros, or $124.4 million, in 2010, said Hansen.
Franklin started his career at Peat Marwick Mitchell in finance and accounting, and then moved to the management consulting services group at Price Waterhouse & Co. in New York. In 1986 he joined Tumi Inc. and through 1992 helped direct the brand through a 10-fold growth rate that saw it develop as a leader in its sector. In 1993, he became president of Coach Leatherware where during his tenure sales more than doubled and the foundation for the billion dollar Coach business was laid. In 1996, he became general manager and executive vice president of the cosmetics businesses of Unilever managed through the Elizabeth Arden division. In 1999, he rejoined Tumi as president, responsible for global strategic and creative development, served as ceo from 2002 to 2009, and was a member of the board at Tumi.
Founded in 1860 and based in Milan, Frette is a leading international luxury bed, bath and home furnishing brand. Frette markets its products to consumers as well as to top hotels and resorts through a network of stores, the Internet and leading department and specialty stores.
Frette products are sold in Beverly Hills, New York, London, Paris, Hong Kong and Tokyo, as well as upscale hospitality establishments such as the Paris Ritz, London Savoy, Singapore Raffles, Peninsula Hong Kong and all of Ritz-Carlton’s U.S. properties.