Onward Luxury group takes over Rochas menswear licence
Interparfums's foray into fashion has turned out be short-lived. In a press conference, the French fragrance group stated that its internal team has stopped working on the design and production of the Rochas Homme menswear collections.
Rochas Homme was launched last January, and from 2019 it will be licensed to the Onward Luxury Group, already in charge of the womenswear line. In the first quarter 2018, a new creative director is expected to replace designer Béatrice Ferrant. She had been hired just over a year ago to launch the Rochas Homme collection, running it as an internal project for Interparfums, before the fragrance specialist eventually decided to concentrate once more on its core expertise.
Interparfums bought the Parisian fashion label, founded in 1925 by Marcel Rochas, in 2015. Since then, the women's ready-to-wear line has been licensed to the European subsidiary of Japanese group Onward Luxury, with Italian designer Alessandro Dell’Acqua as Creative Director. The Rochas men's line was initially active only through a licence agreement covering Latin America.
In 2016, the fragrance group led by Philippe Benacin decided to make an emphatic entrance in menswear, starting a worldwide project by hiring Béatrice Ferrant and creating a team of six people around her, between the creative and commercial departments. In total, Interparfums invested nearly €2 million in the operation.
The first collection, for the Autumn/Winter 2017-18, featured a luxe urban wardrobe which was a hit with the media and some fifteen very high-end multibrand retailers, supported also by the opening of a pop-up store in rue Saint-Honoré, Paris, last June. Despite this, Interparfums decided to cut its losses, and didn't even launch a summer 2018 collection.
"Fashion is clearly a tough market, very different from the fragrance one, especially from the retail point of view. For a small project such as this, the effort and investment would need to be too large relative to the very limited profitability it generates, unless we were to operate several different labels," said an Interparfums spokesperson to FashionNetwork.com.
"Even though we are satisfied with the collection and the work done for it, we have decided to change tack, in order to refocus on what we do best. Nevertheless, the project allowed us to inject fresh energy into Rochas menswear, which will continue with Onward," he added.
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