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France’s oldest and still independent luxury fashion brand, which has incurred a net loss of €18.3 million in 2016, is said to be considering developing a range of affordable leather goods but has been advised against it by market experts.
According to reports, Lanvin had a net loss of €18.3 million in 2016, which has been widening to €27 million in 2017. Sales are said to have fallen 23% in 2016 to €162 million euros; against €235 million at their peak in 2012. In the first two months of 2017, sales allegedly slumped a further 32%.
The crisis is said to have begun with the departure of star designer Alber Elbaz in 2015 following a boardroom dispute; the Company had made a profit of €6.3 million in the year. Elbaz was replaced by Bouchra Jarrar in March 2016, but the collections have failed to impress.
Reportedly, management at Lanvin has plans to create a leather goods range aimed at fashion outlets, but some industry specialists are said to have advised the Company against the idea as sales in cheaper discount stores could damage the brand’s luxury image.
Currently, 75-year-old Chinese media magnate Shaw-Lan Wang is Lavin’s controlling shareholder, with Swiss associate investor Ralph Bartel owning 25% of Lanvin. Wang is reported to have been reluctant to invest in the brand over the past few years and that leaves little room for Bartel to inject more cash into the business.
The company employs around 300 people in France. After appointing advisory firm Long Term Partners for an audit, Lanvin is said to have been cutting costs, closing several non-profitable stores, and reducing advertising.
Lanvin was founded in 1889 and is one of France's major independent fashion labels, in a multi-million market dominated by conglomerates such as LVMH and Kering.
The French brand’s current leather collection includes a range of jackets, shoes, garments, bags and accessories.