PARIS — Arthur de Soultrait, founder of the preppy French fashion label Vicomte A., has left the brand, its parent company Allure Saint-Honoré said on Wednesday.
De Soultrait, who in 2005 founded the casual ready-to-wear label best known for its polo shirts, had also established the online seller of women’s, men’s and children’s wear Segur SA. The executive formerly served as artistic director of Vicomte A. and spearheaded its communication as well.
His next professional step could not immediately be learned.
De Soultrait in 2005 created ties for the city of Paris, when it was bidding for the 2012 Olympic Games. Two years later, Vicomte A. opened its first freestanding stores, in Paris and in Palm Beach, Fla.
De Soultrait in 2010 acquired the defunct historic gunsmith brand Gastinne Renette, which was once the official supplier to Napoleon III’s court, with a view to relaunching the brand as a heritage clothing line geared to attract a broader clientele. The debut collection of the Gastinne Renette by Vicomte A. men’s and women’s apparel line was presented in September 2011.
Also that year, the brand opened its first corners in Japan. And one year later, it became the official dresser of athletes in the Vendée Globe boat race.
Vicomte A. made a splash in the press in France last summer, when Emmanuel Macron, now one of the country’s presidential hopefuls, was featured on the cover of newsweekly Paris Match wearing two of the brand’s polo shirts. (They subsequently sold out.) As one of its brand tie-ins, Vicomte A. created an exclusive design for Printemps de l’Homme.
The beleaguered label — which reportedly was placed into receivership in June 2016 — had been trying to move deeper into designer fashion, gradually attempting to pivot away from preppy to sportswear chic.
Over the past few years, Vicomte A. has undergone some executive changes, too. Those included adding a chief operating officer, plus managers to head up retail in France and e-commerce.
In 2014, investment firm CM-CIC Capital Finance took a minority stake in the company. The three-year investment was meant to allow the brand — which today offers colorful clothing for men and women, plus accessories — to grow its business, notably in international markets.
Allure Saint-Honoré said that more announcements regarding Vicomte A. will follow soon.