PARIS — Paco Rabanne is the latest fragrance franchise plotting a fashion comeback.
The French brand, owned by Puig Beauty and Fashion Group, has appointed Vincent Thilloy as vice president, overseeing its fragrance, fashion and accessories businesses. It is a new position. The news comes two-and-a-half years after the firm said it would stop the main Paco Rabanne ready-to-wear line, which had been designed by Patrick Robinson since 2004.
“I’m thinking about a new business model for the fashion,” said Thilloy, who explained it could take the form of licenses and said the review process might last up to four months. (Already, Paco Rabanne has licensed watches and eyewear, and there’s a license for rtw in South Korea.)
Procter & Gamble recently took the licensing route for Rochas fashion. In October, P&G signed a global licensing agreement with Italy’s Gibò Co. SpA to manufacture and distribute Rochas rtw. The license was signed two years after P&G shuttered the Rochas fashion business.
Rochas’ fashion revival followed that of the Thierry Mugler line. In the summer, Groupe Clarins, owner of the Mugler brand, resuscitated its women’s wear collection and came out with what was dubbed Thierry Mugler Edition for spring.
Thilloy said he thinks the time is ripe for Paco Rabanne to expand its offer, in part because the fragrance business has taken off exponentially, largely due to the success of its 1 Million and Black XS scents. Sales of Paco Rabanne Parfums have doubled in the past two to three years, he said. Although Thilloy would not reveal figures, industry sources estimate the business rings up 400 million euros to 450 million euros, or $542.4 million to $610.2 million at current exchange, in retail revenues yearly.
Thilloy is keen to establish a real universe for the brand and give it coherence and longevity. He continues to run Paco Rabanne’s fragrance business for which, until Jan. 1, he served as director. Thilloy joined Puig Prestige Beauté’s Paco Rabanne in 2001 as director of marketing. Prior to that, he worked at YSL Beauté and at L’Oréal’s Cacharel.
Paco Rabanne’s fashion focus went through numerous iterations in the past. Robinson arrived in December 2004, replacing Rosemary Rodriguez as the house’s design director.