BOUSQUET APPOINTED CACHAREL U.S. CHIEF
Byline: Eric Wilson
NEW YORK — Cacharel’s reputation has preceded itself.
Two years after the collection was rebuilt in Paris under the design team of Suzanne Clements and Inacio Ribeiro, the company has opened its first U.S. showroom and named Guillaume Bousquet as U.S. director to manage the brand’s growth in North America. The brand had taken off with an unanticipated degree of success at stores such as Barneys New York and required a local presence to manage its growth into several new accounts.
Bousquet was in charge of distribution for regions outside of Europe, focusing on key accounts in Japan and Russia. He will split his time between New York and Paris in the new position, reporting to Jean Bousquet, the founder of Cacharel who is also his father, who cited the dynamism of the American market as a “fundamental driving force for continued success in the future.”
“I am very pleased with the progress that Cacharel has made in the U.S. in the last few years,” Jean Bousquet said. “The new showroom is a firm step toward greater expansion in the U.S. marketplace.”
Cacharel had rented temporary space in Midtown during market weeks to cater to U.S. accounts, but picked a permanent location in SoHo at 470 Broome Street to handle sales going further. The first full collection to debut in the space will be the company’s resort line in June, the first time Cacharel has produced a line for an interim season in its 40-year history, Guillaume Bousquet said.
“SoHo is still a very creative, artistic neighborhood that has a true value in itself,” he said. “Cacharel had not been in the U.S. for over 20 years, so in order to properly reestablish the brand here, we had to pick a great neighborhood.”
In the past two years, Barneys expanded its Cacharel offerings to all of its doors and also staged marketing events for the line, one of the store’s more accessible collections that features an average wholesale price of $100. Cacharel is now carried in the U.S. at specialty stores like Scoop, Kirna Zabete and Fred Segal, and has added important accounts for fall, including Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom in the U.S. and Holt Renfrew in Canada, Bousquet said.
“The business has skyrocketed in the past year,” Bousquet said. “But in a sense, I’m not in a hurry. We have to be very careful in how we position the brand. There is a balance between increasing business and the image of the brand itself.”
Cacharel is targeting about 12,000 pieces selling in the U.S. per season, which would reach a volume of $1.7 million to $2 million, or about 10 percent of the company’s worldwide sales. If the company maintains that level of growth, Bousquet added that its next project would be to likely open a store in New York in the all-blue scheme that was unveiled in Marseilles, France, last year and then expanded into Cacharel’s other European stores.