PARIS — Seven years after the closure of its last Paris boutique, Cacharel plans to re-establish a retail presence in the French capital as a prelude to forming a network of franchised stores worldwide.
The company will open a boutique in the Opéra district early next year, hopefully in time to present its fall 2016 collection during Paris Fashion Week, scheduled for early March, Cacharel founder and president Jean Bousquet told WWD in an interview at the brand’s new headquarters in Saint-Germain-des-Prés.
This should be followed by a second store in Saint-Germain-des-Prés within a year, he added. The design of the first store will provide a template for future openings with franchise partners, as well as the redesign of the brand’s two existing corners at the Printemps and Galeries Lafayette department stores in Paris, Bousquet said.
Cacharel, which closed its last freestanding store on Rue Bonaparte on the Left Bank in 2008, hopes to open a total of 24 boutiques and 30 corners worldwide by the end of 2018. It is targeting U.S. high-end department stores, among others.
The brand, which shot to fame in the Sixties and Seventies with its youthful, romantic style, has undergone multiple changes in management and creative direction in recent years.
Since parting ways with Italian manufacturer Aeffe in 2012, it has repositioned the line in the contemporary bracket and focused exclusively on women’s wear. For next fall, it is revamping its collection following the appointment of a new studio design director, whom it declined to name.
“The price will be the same, but the quality will be higher,” said Bousquet, adding that the company had responded to feedback from buyers who said its previous collections were too shirt-centric and did not offer enough total looks.
“Chanel can continue making its trademark jacket, but we can’t continue producing Liberty-print shirts. We have to fall into step with what young consumers want these days, which is different from that their mothers wore, although still in the same spirit,” he said.