PARIS — Bernard Mariette, chief executive officer of Coalision Inc., the company that owns apparel and outerwear brands Orage and Lolë, has Europe in his sight.
This story first appeared in the December 9, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
His plan, after taking the helm of the Montreal-based company in August, is to raise the profile of Lolë, the youngest brand in the Coalision stable, in Europe. But Coalision isn’t in a rush to do so, aiming to widen its European footprint next year, according to Mariette.
“Lolë targets women aged 30 and older, who like to practice sport and take an interest in their well being, but want to do it with style,” Mariette told WWD. As such, he thinks women in large European cities as well as Scandinavian countries, who are keen on stylish sportswear they can wear in town as well as during outdoor activities, are likely to be receptive to Lolë’s appeal.
An acronym for “Live Out Loud Every Day,” Lolë is sold in Canada and the U.S. at some 1,500 retailers, which also distribute Orage skiwear and accessories.
The fall collection features zip-up cardigans, polo shirts, pants and outerwear in muted colors, manufactured with recycled polar fleece as well as high-tech textiles with UV protection and fast drying times. Retail prices start at around $60, rising to $340 for winter outerwear.
Although Europe holds considerable potential for expanding the brand, which was launched five years ago, Mariette said he plans to study the market carefully and expand gradually, aiming to be present in Europe in 2010 via a combination of distributors, own stores and online retailing.
French-born, Canadian-based Mariette hopes to leverage his international experience to widen the reach of Lolë and Orage beyond North America.
Mariette’s résumé includes stints at Marks & Spencer, L’Oréal and Timberland France and Spain, as well as Californian sports equipment specialist Quiksilver, where he was president from 2001 to 2008.