Siddhartha Shukla of Lanvin says label’s focus is doing more with what it has

Siddhartha Shukla of Lanvin says label’s focus is doing more with what it has

Translated by

Nicola Mira

Siddhartha Shukla was appointed deputy CEO of

Siddhartha Shukla – Lanvin You have recently appointed a new COO. Are there any other appointments in the offing?

Siddhartha Shukla: Not for now, but as the label is being reorganised and prepared for the future, it’s important we rethink how to deploy our staff. Sometimes, one inherits a system that doesn’t work, or is no longer working well, and needs restructuring. We must always innovate. Even if we belong to an organisation as large as Lanvin Group, of which we are the flagship label, our company remains very independent. Following the appointment of Patrick Ferrand as COO, we will announce our new creative director before the end of the year. We have already made our choice, and we’re very happy.

FNW: Can you tell us more?

SS: I cannot reveal anything for the time being. But the profile fits extremely well with the ultimate chic spirit that characterises our label. A style that is more elegant, more sophisticated, and more French, which we began to introduce a year and a half ago, as we repositioned Lanvin. There will be no violent change.
FNW: Is the new creative director French?

SS: I can’t say anything else.
FNW: What are you changing in [Lanvin]?

SS: We simply want to modernise things. I understand the European business approach very well, but I’m American. This means a big focus on digital, on speed, and on our end customers, on understanding how to better address them.
FNW: Will this mean overhauling the product range?

SS: We have redesigned our assortment so that it can be more balanced across all categories. Currently, apparel accounts for more or less the same share of the business as accessories. Similarly, the womenswear and menswear lines are almost equivalent, 50-50. Lanvin isn’t just dresses and sneakers, it’s a real lifestyle label. From [Lanvin’s] inception, founder Jeanne Lanvin catered to both women and men, and thought about perfumes, furniture and more. Rather than a couture brand, for her [Lanvin] was a cultural brand.
FNW: How did you reorganise the company?

SS: Our new structure is split up in three units: ready-to-wear, leather goods, with handbags and shoes, and Lanvin Lab, a free space where the brand can exist as a cultural reference, experimenting and collaborating with external talent, at a rate of two, three new drops per year. The first capsule collection, developed with rapper Future, will be unveiled in November.
FNW: What is Lanvin’s price positioning?

SS: We’re convinced the label has the opportunity to adopt a very high-end positioning. Our ready-to-wear looks have a couture spirit, and are made using genuine couture expertise, even if the collections have a modern feel and are made for contemporary, everyday life.
FNW: Where do you produce your collections?

SS: In Italy and France.
FNW: How do you explain the 11% drop in Lanvin sales in H1 this year, down to €57 million?
: [The downturn] was linked to the changes within the label, with Creative Director Bruno Sialelli
FNW: Where are the positive signs coming from?

SS: Especially from Europe. We’re also seeing positive reactions to our campaigns in the USA and China, our two main markets. We have opportunities, and potential to regain market share.
FNW: How many monobrand stores do you have, and where are you planning to open next?

SS: We have 31 stores in total, and we’ll open more next year. Also, our online business is growing strongly. But right now, we owe it to ourselves to be sensible. Our focus is doing more with what we have. Less is more. For next summer, for example, we didn’t present 40 looks, but a highly curated, focused collection with 25 looks. With a number like that, it’s possible to send an important message across, showing where the label is today. Behind them, of course, there’s a comprehensively assorted collection that will drive our business.

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