PARIS — The list of credit-crunch victims continues to grow here.
Following the closure of luxury French leather goods brand Renaud Pellegrino in February, Stella Sarl, parent company of Stella Cadente, an independent Paris-based fashion brand that has been part of the local scene since 1991, has also shuttered.
Founded by Stanislassia Klein, the brand, known for its whimsical, color-shot clothes and costume jewelry, also released scents under Clarins and Parfums & Beauté licenses. The Stella Cadente brand, which was registered independently, will go on operating in alternative distribution channels such as the Internet and the hotel industry. Klein recently opened the La Maison de Stella Cadente guesthouse in Provins, based in the Seine-et-Marne region of France, boasting fantasy interior decoration by Klein.
Renaud Pellegrino, which is known for its decorative bags, had feted its 25th anniversary last year, but the firm’s president, Florette Hayot, co-owner of Holmex, the Martinique-based family holding that acquired the brand in 2007, said differences between its namesake designer and management over the firm’s development led to its demise, accelerated by the ailing economy.
Hayot said Holmex invested some 2 million euros, or around $2.8 million at current exchange, in the business, which ceased operating in mid-February after having filed for bankruptcy two months prior. Renaud Pellegrino’s two Paris-based stores, situated on Rue de Grenelle and Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, were shuttered. Word has it a fur brand will take over the latter store.
Pellegrino rose to prominence in the Eighties, during which time he designed bags for the house of Yves Saint Laurent before founding his signature line. The label counted among the few remaining high-end independent bag brands boasting an atelier on Paris’ tony Rue Faubourg Saint-Honoré. It was distributed in around 26 doors internationally, including Bergdorf Goodman and Vivre.com in the United States.
Since its closure earlier this year, the brand’s atelier has been taken over by an anonymous designer who has kept on Pellegrino’s five atelier workers, according to Hayot, who said she was keen to protect the brand’s biggest value: its savoir faire.