Sean Cassidy was on vacation in Paris when he discovered Emilie Lafaurie’s men’s wear collection and became enamored with the line’s updated traditional designs.
That chance meeting led to Cassidy tossing aside a career in children’s book marketing to become the exclusive distributor of Lafaurie’s collection in the U.S. through his own stores.
This September, Cassidy will mark the 20th anniversary of Sean, a three-unit men’s specialty store business that carries only Lafaurie’s designs. And to celebrate the milestone, the two are teaming to introduce Beau, a special capsule designed by Lafaurie to appeal to the Millennial man.
“I really don’t like the term ‘Millennial,’” Cassidy said, “but we’re targeting the guy who is just getting on his feet.”
Beau will consist of 40 pieces including suit separates, shirts and sweaters that can be mixed and matched to allow younger guys to look professional and polished but still contemporary. The collection is manufactured in Europe, primarily France, Portugal, Spain, Bulgaria and Germany.
Prices will range from $98 to $118 for shirts, $88 to $128 for sweaters, $98 to $128 for casual pants and $395 to $435 for suits. The average price for a Emilie Lafaurie suit is $600.
“It’s a great product at a great price,” Cassidy said. “It’s tailored but it can take a guy from the office to the weekend.”
Beau will also be sold in Lafaurie’s 10 stores in France as well as around 20 select boutiques in Europe.
Born and educated in Paris, Lafaurie grew up among the bohemians of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. He opened his first store in 1992, just off the Place des Vosges.
For Cassidy, it’s hard to believe that 20 years have passed since he opened the first Sean store. Today, there are two units in San Francisco and one in New York’s SoHo.
“It’s challenging today,” he admitted, “but you need to be fluid to deal with neighborhood and real estate changes.”
He attributes Sean’s long-term success to its ability “to help a guy look his best. We don’t want to just sell him one shirt and that’s it. We want to develop a relationship and become his go-to stylist.”
He said there are no plans to host a special 20th anniversary celebration this fall. Instead, he will reach out to thank customers for their loyalty over the years because he knows without them he’d be back in the children’s book business.