The dynamic brothers Houzé have the advantage of a right-brain, left-brain talent pool split between them. Their willingness to think differently in positioning their family’s iconic 100-year-old store firmly towards the future saw them stage the Vetements show in July, underneath the iconic cupola of their boulevard Haussmann headquarters.
They have made significant strides at the historic French retailer, especially in terms of adopting an improved digital strategy and expanding the company’s international presence.
After attending business school at INSEAD, Nicolas's career began in consulting and investing at A.T Kearney and Deutsche Bank respectively, before he joined Monoprix in 1998. He held a variety of positions in the family-owned accessible retailer for eight years — including launching the monop’ convenience store concept — before assuming the role of chairman of Louis Pion/Royal Quartz since 2006. In 2012 he was made chairman of French jewellery line Didier Guerin.
Their father Philippe Houzé is the chairman of the Galeries Lafayette group, which includes Galeries Lafayette and Bazar de l’Hôtel de Ville (BHV), a department store in Paris. The chairman appointed Houzé — the eldest son in the family — to the role after fifteen years working in the family business. Paul Delaoutre, former chief executive of ten years, stepped down from his role — providing a vacancy for Houzé to fill. Shortly after his appointment, French press reported that Guillaume — currently president of the foundation Galeries Lafayette — is next in line to join the management team as director of brand image.
In addition to his responsibilities as chief executive, Nicolas also oversees the Galeries Lafayette Corporate Foundation. However, his appointment has not been without its controversies. Houzé’s significant efforts to re-staff top level executives in the company less than a year after his appointment resulted in controversial coverage in the local French press.