CLEMENTS RIBEIRO TO DO CACHAREL LINE

Byline: Katherine Weisman, Paris / James Fallon, London

PARIS — The British design team Clements Ribeiro will design the Cacharel Femme women’s ready-to-wear collection starting with spring-summer 2001, a spokeswoman for Cacharel told WWD Monday.
The news confirms a report in these columns April 14.
The appointment of Suzanne Clements and Inacio Ribeiro is part of Cacharel’s goal to expand international sales, especially to the U.S., the spokeswoman said. Cacharel’s current export markets are Japan, Europe and Argentina.
Ribeiro said he and his wife, Clements, accepted the appointment for reasons ranging from the personal to the label involved. “Obviously we’ve been approached many times in the past but it never seemed to be the right time or the right company,” he said in a telephone interview. “This time we felt it was the right time careerwise to do something like this. It also felt right that Cacharel is a pret-a-porter company as opposed to a couture one. They have 79 stores worldwide and want to sell clothes, so it’s not just an image exercise.”
Ribeiro said it helps that Cacharel does not have that strong of a fashion image outside France. “It’s very much a blank canvas outside France. Most consumers today think of it as a perfume house. But it has a romantic, feminine image that fits in very well with what we do and its business is built on the shirt, which is something we’re really, really into at the moment as well,” he said.
Ribeiro said the endless emphasis on luxe is becoming boring. “To do something pret-a-porter with no pretensions of being anything but pret-a-porter is refreshing and the way we think fashion is going forward,” he said.
Cacharel hopes to stage a major fashion show during fashion week in October in Paris and is negotiating with the Chambre Syndicale for an official date. The Clements Ribeiro touch will be seen, however, on July 12 at an internal precollection show, the spokeswoman explained.
Corinne Sarrut, who has been the artistic director for the last six years, overseeing all of Cacharel’s apparel — women’s, men’s and children’s — will remain a consultant to company founder and president Jean Bosquet. Sarrut will focus her design efforts on her own signature rtw collection, the Cacharel spokeswoman said.