PARIS – Despite critical acclaim for its designer Olivier Theyskens, the Rochas fashion house is to be shuttered, WWD has learned.

Procter & Gamble — owner of the business — met with workers here today with a proposal to cease operations, according to an industry source. P&G, which owns and will continue producing fragrances under the Rochas banner, does not consider fashion its core business, the source said. Under French law, numerous steps need to be taken in order to close down such a business. The procedure can take months. About 30 Rochas employees will be affected.

The Rochas fall/winter ready-to-wear collection will continue to be shipped, the industry source said. Retailers have not yet been informed of the Rochas fashion closure.

P&G inherited Rochas — both its fashion and fragrance arms  — in 2003, when P&G acquired Wella’s portfolio.

According to the industry source, P&G had tried to license out the Rochas fashion business, but there was only interest in outright acquisitions of the Rochas fashion and fragrance brands together.

The move will mark the end of three years of acclaim for Theyskens, who made Rochas one of the most anticipated shows of Paris fashion week. Earlier this year, he was crowned International Designer of the Year by the CFDA.

It is understood the Rochas rtw business grew 30 percent last year, and the company received a strong reaction to its pre-spring collection, unveiled earlier this month during the couture shows. But ultimately it was considered a niche label, known for ultra-expensive gowns and cocktail attire.

The financial performance of the fashion house could not immediately be learned, but it is understood it was loss making.

Historically, beauty companies have found the fashion business model difficult to master. In recent years, L’Oreal spun off its Lanvin fashion holding and Groupe Clarins stopped manufacturing the Thierry Mugler fashion brand.

For complete coverage, see tomorrow’s issue of WWD.

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