PARIS — French contemporary designer Claudie Pierlot died last week after a long battle with cancer.

This story first appeared in the March 4, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“With much sadness, we have learned about the death of Claudie Pierlot, at 61, barely 18 days after selling her business,” stated fashion company René Derhy, Pierlot’s former business partner with whom she worked for more than 10 years.

Pierlot and Derhy sold their shares in the Claudie Pierlot label, which includes ready-to-wear, accessories and fragrances, to fellow contemporary players Sandro and Maje just last month.

Passionate about her work, Pierlot began her career in knitting factories in the south of France before joining French knitwear specialist Dorothée Bis. She went on to design junior lines for Printemps department store prior to joining design agency Mafia.

In Paris in the early Eighties, she founded her own brand, with backing from Derhy, with the goal of offering chic, yet affordable designs for feminine young women. Highlights of this summer’s sailor-themed collection include striped dresses and tops, a leopard-print coat and a wide belt, worn high on the waist.

Outside of France, the brand’s main market, Claudie Pierlot is sold in some 13 countries, including China and the U.S. The label, which operates three stores in Paris, has been developing its own-store network and recently opened a boutique in Taiwan. The company’s sales last year were reported to be 5 million euros, or $7.4 million at average exchange.

Funeral services were held last Saturday.