PARIS — SMCP, the owner of fashion chains including Sandro, Maje and Claudie Pierlot, has named Isabelle Guichot as chief executive officer and director, effective immediately.
Her appointment follows the resignation of Daniel Lalonde, who led the group for eight years, overseeing its acquisition in 2016 by Chinese textile group Shandong Ruyi Group.
Guichot, who has headed brands at luxury behemoths Kering and Compagnie Financière Richemont including Sergio Rossi shoes and high-end jeweler Van Cleef & Arpels, was CEO of Balenciaga for nearly a decade, at a time of international growth. She joined SMCP in September 2017 as CEO of Maje.
“She has successfully developed many houses to which she has brought her strong vision and her excellent sense of business and customer orientation. Her passion for retail and fashion and her fine knowledge of the SMCP environment and platform, strategy and brands, as well as her international exposure in the luxury sector, make her the natural successor of Daniel Lalonde,” SMCP said in a statement.
Lalonde will stay on until October to ensure a smooth transition, the group added. In a separate statement, high-end interior design group Design Holding said Lalonde would be joining it as CEO to lead the company into its next stage of growth, as it shifts toward an increasingly direct-to-consumer distribution strategy.
Created in 2018 by investment group Investindustrial and U.S. private equity firm The Carlyle Group, Design Holding groups brands including Flos, Louis Poulsen and B&B Italia, as well as the U.S. e-commerce platform YDesign Group.
Yafu Qiu, chairman of the board of SMCP, thanked Lalonde for his “considerable achievements” in developing SMCP and its brands worldwide. A longtime executive at LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, he was president of Ralph Lauren International before joining SMCP in 2014.
“SMCP has become under his leadership a global leader in the accessible luxury segment. I am confident that Isabelle is the right person with the right experience to take the head of the group,” he said.
“All of SMCP’s teams have gone above and beyond in their work, especially over the past months, and we are convinced we have the right strategic plan to navigate these challenging times and that we are ideally positioned to come out of the crisis stronger than ever,” Qiu added.
SMCP, which also owns men’s brand De Fursac, said it was committed to pursuing its strategic plan, dubbed One Journey. With an eye to meeting changed consumption habits, the group is emphasizing organic growth over its flag-planting retail expansion of the past.
“As we have done under Daniel’s leadership, together with the executive committee, we will be aiming at delivering our strategic roadmap while addressing the current challenges of our industry to strengthen our leadership in the affordable luxury and fulfilling our client’s expectation in a world becoming every day more global, digital and responsible,” Guichot said.
“We have amazing brands and experienced, motivated and focused teams to reach our ambition,” she added.
SMCP reported last week that revenues rose 59.1 percent year-on-year, or 61.1 percent on an organic basis, to 229.4 million in three months to June 30.
Compared with the same period in 2019, this represented a decline of 14 percent, a better trend than in the first quarter, when sales dropped 17 percent based on the first quarter of 2019.
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