GAULTIER SIGNS AEFFE TO MAKE TOP RTW LINES
Byline: Godfrey Deeney, with contributions from Sara Gay Forden, Milan
PARIS — Jean Paul Gaultier has signed a long-term contract with Aeffe of Italy to manufacture the designer’s top men’s and women’s ready-to-wear lines, ending his license with Japan’s Onward Kashiyama.
The agreement takes effect with the fall-winter 1995/1996 season, according to Gaultier president Donald Potard. The news confirms a WWD report printed Nov. 30 that such a deal was in the works.
“People will get to see the fruits of our labors later this month,” Potard said. Gaultier is scheduled to stage his men’s show during the forthcoming Paris men’s wear season on Jan. 28.
“For us, this represents a very important step in our development and also demonstrates the faith we have in the designer collections as a growth strategy,” said Aeffe chairman Massimo Ferretti.
Aeffe, which is based in Cattolica on Italy’s Adriatic coast, produces such labels as Alberta Ferretti, Ferretti Jeans Philosophy, Moschino and Ozbek.
The development marks the second time over the past year that Kashiyama, whose Italian subsidiary Gibo produced Jean Paul Gaultier, has lost a Gaultier license. As reported, Gaultier discontinued his youth-oriented Junior Gaultier line, which had also been produced by Gibo, with the fall 1995 collection and signed an agreement with Stile Moda of Italy to manufacture and distribute a new collection, JPG.
However, the Japanese group will continue to control the distribution of the Jean Paul Gaultier men’s and women’s collection in Britain and the U.S.
Kashiyama’s master license to manufacture and distribute all Gaultier’s products in Asia will also continue, and it will maintain its ownership of Gaultier’s flagship boutiques in Paris, London and Milan.
“It was time for a change. You have to now and again. We wanted to restructure, and we believe we have found very good partners,” said Potard. Potard predicted that the new arrangement will boost sales of Gaultier’s top line tenfold in the next three years. But he declined to reveal the size of current volume.
Potard also said that Aeffe plans to reduce the price points of the French designer’s top line in order to make it more affordable to a wider clientele. That strategy has already been tried with JPG, which is priced at between 10 to 20 percent less than the former Gaultier Junior collection.