Paco Rabanne rebrands itself as Rabanne, and unveils new Winter Holiday Collection
Paco Rabanne has decided to rebrand itself as Rabanne, announcing the news as it unveiled its new Winter Holiday collection, the latest step in a new felt acceleration in the brand, as it extends and distills the ideas of designer Julien Dossena.
The decision comes five moves after the death of founder Paco Rabanne, who passed away aged 88 on February 3.
“We felt it was right to unify the image of the brand into one word,” explained Rabanne’s general manager Nadia Dhouib, in an exclusive tour of the brand’s latest fashion and accessories collection. In effect, the house is following a significant recent trend, where brands like Dior, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga and Mugler, are dropping their founder's first name.
The house of Paco Rabanne is part of the Puig Group, the hard charging Spanish perfume and luxury conglomerate that includes Jean-Paul Gaultier, Nina Ricci, Carolina Herrera and Dries Van Noten. Sometimes in the past, the Puigs have been perceived as treating their fashion houses as marketing tools for their far larger fragrance businesses. That is clearly no longer the case at Rabanne.
Ever since he arrived at Paco Rabanne, Dossena has won rave reviews for many shows and collections and dressed a respectable share of red-carpet stars. Last month Beyoncé wore Rabanne when she performed in Paris in the Stade de France. Though his reach was perhaps limited by positioning and the lack of a more democratic price point.
That all began to change 16 months ago, aided by the arrival of CEO Nadia Dhouib – a seasoned department store buying director from Galeries Lafayette, and a notably stylish figure in Paris.
Alongside the new winter vacation line, the house also presented its pre-collection for 2024, and a powerful new series of accessories. Once again, riffing on Dossena’s vision even as it extended it. And already including the new logo, seen on pink T-shirts, bags and even Rabanne macaroons served with coffee. Also equipped with the new logo, Winter Holiday sells from October to June, while pre-collection hits the floor in November.
“Winter Holiday is about having more festive dresses, something that you want to buy and wear as soon as you see it. We are also offering heritage pieces and works from the archive linked alongside into Julien’s ideas. Versatile pieces that you can wear from day to evening. For women who work in an office and have to leave directly for dinner,” explained Dhouib, effectively describing her own self.
One acid test of a brand on the move is the buzz in its showroom, and Rabanne was one of the busiest in Paris this season. The house’s sales staff had that slight shine to their eyes, which sellers have when they know they are marketing hot product. Another indication of the brand’s expanding reach is the addition of new materials and product categories.
“We are adding categories like denim, cotton and knitwear. But always with an added value for the customer. What makes Rabanne special – metal, craftsmanship, details and being different, and rupture. Not just futurism. I think what Monsieur Rabanne wanted was freedom, and boldness. And French panache,” Dhouib explained.
The brand’s price point starts from €290 and includes dresses with craftsmanship at €600. “But our sweet spot is between €500 and €6,000,” she added.
“The goal is also to have clothes that are instantly recognizable as Rabanne, but easy to wear and understand, and easy to keep in your wardrobe Yet also keeping that grungy thing that is very important to Julien,” added Dhouib, as a model marched by in torn up blue denims.
A new look-book – projected on screens - was shot near the Eiffel tower and styled by ace Marie Amelie Sauvé. It captures the kicky yet refined style that Dossena has made his own signature at Rabanne.
“This is the direction that we are heading with Julien, a strong collection for a wider audience. You need to begin by making a statement, then accelerate and gain a wider audience. The challenge is keeping the edge but with a more commercial collection,” she stressed.
Currently, Rabanne retails in some 300 doors, and plans to grow its retail network outside France – where its key Paris flagship is on the brilliantly located corner of Avenue Montaigne and rue Francois 1er – in retail terms, paradise. The Puig Group does not break out the annual revenues of its different brands, but the house is understood to be on target to breach 1 billion euros in yearly sales by 2025.
Adding to the brand’s reach, Rabanne will also launch a partnership collection with Swedish giant H&M in the near future.
In terms of accessories, the house has created multiple references to its iconic 1969 bag, including a raffia and metal version. They have also developed a gritty combat and hiking boots collab with New Rock in black, burnished silver and brown. Initially worn in the spring-summer 2023 collection, they turned into a capsule footwear collection after demand proved so strong. Along with the brand’s own wedges with oversized paillettes and retro-futurist gold heeled boots.
Dossena has also translated a great bucket bag from malleable metal strips into leather – retailing in three sizes and starting at €1,090. And began producing summer totes in high quality raffia, retailing for €490 and bearing the new one-word logo, Rabanne.
The rebranding has begun.
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