PARIS, France — Whether Marie Antoinette’s sartorial splendour at the court of Versailles, La Belle Époque’s poised perfectionism or Coco Chanel’s corset-less courage post-World War I, the city of lights sits undisputed as fashion’s capital.
The city is home to the industry’s most respected and accomplished savoir-faire maisons, like Lesage and Lemarié, traditional pleaters like Lognon, and button-makers and milliners such as Gossens and Maison Michel. Within Paris also reside the luxury industry’s most successful and profitable conglomerates, with LVMH as the largest, led by Bernard Arnault. The group includes cash-cow Louis Vuitton, which analysts estimate generates almost $12 billion in revenue and $5 billion in operating profit, as well as Christian Dior, which generates over $2 billion in revenues, Fendi, Givenchy, Céline, Loewe, Kenzo and Marc Jacobs.
Kering, led by François-Henri Pinault, has controlling stakes in Alexander McQueen, Bottega Veneta and Brioni, among others. “Kering is the natural challenger. Not only does it harbour multi-category ambitions, it is pushing forward on its newly found successes with Gucci, Saint Laurent and Balenciaga,” writes Luca Solca, head of luxury at BNP Paribas. This year, Kering’s Gucci aims to reach $10 billion euros in annual sales, hoping to usurp LVMH’s Louis Vuitton as the luxury brand with the highest global sales.
Paris is also home to fashion’s most impressive independent maisons like Hermès and Chanel, the latter nestled in the now iconic Rue Cambon since 1910, acting as the jewel in fashion’s crown in terms of brand desirability. Chanel also revealed its financial reports for the first time in June, showing its annual sales in 2017 as $9.6 billion – just behind Louis Vuitton. Chanel’s chief financial officer Philippe Blondiaux assured the publishing of results was not preceding a stock market listing and placated any suspicions the privately-owned company would be sold soon.
However, the city of lights and love is no longer exclusively orientated around traditional luxury houses. The once slightly staid if chic capital has a new energy, with design movements emerging around streetwear sensibilities thanks to the likes of Pigalle, Avoc, Magenta, Etudes Studio and Drole de Monsieur. Meanwhile new names in ready-to-wear such as Marine Serre, Y/Projects, Koche and Jacquemus continue to grow in standing on the international stage.
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Responsable Production Et Planification Ateliers Sur Mesure, Berluti — Paris, France