LEGEAI TAKES MEDICAL LEAVE FROM CELINE
Byline: Katherine Weisman
PARIS — Nan Legeai, president of Celine, has taken a medical leave of absence. The day-to-day management of the company has been assumed by Patrick dePlace, general manager for Celine’s international activities, and Legeai’s longtime right hand, according to a top executive at Celine’s parent, LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton.
The LVMH executive confirmed Legeai has not been in the office for the last few weeks, but emphasized there are no plans to make management changes at Celine, refuting market reports here.
Legeai’s absence will not hinder the company’s plans to throw a Bastille Day party on July 14 with Bergdorf Goodman to celebrate the house’s fall collection — the first designed by Michael Kors — and the new boutique that Celine will open at Bergdorf’s this summer. Celine is opening an in-store shop at London’s Harrods for the fall season, and also has shops in Saks Fifth Avenue’s Tyson’s Corner, Va., and Houston stores, but Celine branded accessories and ready-to-wear are marketed mainly in the company’s freestanding stores worldwide.
While the house does not disclose its turnover, estimates put consolidated sales at more than $170 million. Last year, sales took a hit, in part due to the financial problems of its Japanese franchise partner. Celine took an undisclosed write-off and bought the assets of its Japanese business, including its 60-plus store network, Legeai told WWD last month.
When Legeai was named Celine president in 1988, a year after LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault bought the family-owned company, the house had sales of $45.8 million.