Lanvin still awaiting bail-out

Lanvin's future is still shrouded in uncertainty. The Parisian couture label, in which Taiwanese billionaire Shaw-Lan Wang holds a 75% stake, still hasn't been recapitalised. Last month, Lanvin's senior management stated that the label would be bailed out of its ongoing cash-flow problem "before the end of 2017".


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The first Lanvin collection by Olivier Lapidus, shown last September - © PixelFormula

"An AGM was due to be held on Wednesday 20th December, but it has been pushed back to a later, as yet unspecified, date," a Lanvin spokesperson told FashionNetwork.com. "In the forthcoming weeks, there will be an announcement about the label's relaunch. Everyone here is working hard and giving their all," said the spokesperson, adding that "all employees are being paid."

The oldest French couture label still in business went through a rough patch after the departure of its former Creative Director Alber Elbaz in October 2015, and seems to be unable to stop the downturn in sales. After the star designer left, the label's revenue fell by 23% in 2016, down to €162 million. In 2016, Lanvin also suffered a net loss of €18.3 million, having made a €6.3 million profit the previous year. In 2017, sales are expected to drop by a further 30%, according to sources cited by the Reuters agency last month.

Bouchra Jarrar, who replaced Alber Elbaz, has failed to win over fashion buyers, and threw in the towel last July. She was in turn replaced by Olivier Lapidus, whose first catwalk show wasn't entirely convincing. In the meantime, the company made a change at the very top, appointing Nicolas Druz as General Manager and advisor to Shaw-Lan Wang.

Lanvin also hired Simone Mantura as Deputy General Manager in charge of products, production, sales, communications and human resources, alongside Michèle Huiban, Deputy General Manager in charge of finance, legal affairs and IT services.

The label has denied the news circulating in the media about its possible diversification strategy in the hotel and lifestyle sectors. "No licensing strategy is on the agenda at the moment, and there are no special projects in this direction," Lanvin's spokesperson told FashionNetwork.com. The possibility was nevertheless mentioned last November by General Manager Nicolas Druz himself, who said he wanted to expand into the "art of living" sector. A project which seemingly isn't currently on the cards for Lanvin.
 

Translated by Nicola Mira

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