Zadig & Voltaire’s French fashion dispatch

It is a bold approach for a altering environment. Marking its 25th anniversary, French luxury retailer Zadig & Voltaire has uncovered its intercontinental expansion plan with goals for 2025, together with an intensified target on China, a new electronic method and a determination to sustainability.

The French men’s, women’s and children’s wear retailer, acknowledged for its luxurious rock ‘n’ roll aesthetic, has 400 suppliers in 30 international locations. Its major markets are France, the US, Spain and the British isles, the place it has 16 suppliers. Internationally, it wholesales to Tmall in China, a luxury ecommerce platform, and substantial-close Russian office shop Tsum in Moscow.

Started by Thierry Gillier in 1997, Zadig and Voltaire has its headquarters in Paris. Gillier stays the vast majority operator and chairman of the brand. Rémy Baume joined as CEO in January 2020, from Kidiliz Team, which produced childrenswear clothing lines for luxurious brands like Kenzo and Paul Smith. European private fairness company Peninsula joined as a minority companion, also in January 2020. Swedish-French trend designer Cecilia Bönström has been creative director since 2006.

Womenswear retail rates selection from close to £90 for a T-shirt to £1,545 for a shearling coat and menswear costs array from £80 for a T-shirt to £1,445 for a shearling blazer. Childrenswear charges start out at  £45 for a T-shirt and go up to £300 for coats promoting. In accessories, purses assortment from £285 for a nano leather-based bag, to £675 for a substantial suede bag.

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Zadig & Voltaire is very best recognised for its leather goods. The Rock clutch bag is its bestselling merchandise. Readily available in greased, grained, suede or quilted leather, it has studs and chains, as perfectly as the brand’s wings motif. The basic lambskin clutch retails at £350. Other bestsellers include things like the Tackl navy jacket, retailing at £355, the Markus cashmere pullover, retailing at £410 and Significant Flash sneakers for £285.

Zadig & Voltaire, autumn/wintertime 21

Turnover was €350m (£296m) in 2019 for the financial 12 months running from February 2019 to January 2020. This exact turnover is Zadig & Voltaire’s projected expectation for the 2020/21 monetary yr.

Founder Gillier was encouraged by the French 18th-century thinker and writer Voltaire, who wrote about Zoroastrian philosopher Zadig in ancient Babylonia, when he came up with the identify for his manufacturer.

In China, Zadig & Voltaire is rebranding itself as “Sàdigé”, and strategies to multiply its exercise there tenfold. The retailer has currently been current in China for 10 many years via a 50:50 joint undertaking with IT Team, but it has now created a wholly owned company for China, Sàdigé. Zadig at the moment has 16 outlets in China and also sells on its major on line sales platform, Alibaba’s Tmall.

The enterprise hopes to attain 60 boutiques by 2025 and to maximize its visibility on Chinese social networks this kind of as Weibo and Wechat, and Chinese ecommerce platforms. Along with this, the retailer has just introduced the appointment of a CEO for China, Jean Lahirle,  who has 25 years’ expertise in Asia, advising luxury brands these kinds of as Chanel, Celine and, a lot more not too long ago, Delvaux on their retail tactics in the region.

Talking to Drapers from the retailer’s London flagship on South Molton Road, which opened in April this yr, CEO Rémy Baume says he thinks Zadig has the possible to be really preferred in the market place simply because it delivers an “alternative to regular China, as an easy luxurious brand”. This will enchantment to youthful Chinese shoppers who wear clothes as a variety of “self-expression”. Baume also claims Chinese luxury purchasers are incredibly well-informed about French society and want to get into it.

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Baume points out the rebranding as Sàdigé in China was to build a identify from Chinese characters that people could pronounce. This intended that the retailer could acquire ownership of its have name, instead than having it pronounced in a wide range of means. The title is created up of a few Chinese figures, which collectively indicate “stylish, trendy, good taste.” The identify is gender neutral, which Baume thinks displays Zadig’s silhouettes – “The identify is phonetically close to Zadig, but is also meaningful,” he describes.

Zadig’s ambitions do not prevent at China. The retailer hopes to open 122 outlets in France and overseas  by 2025, symbolizing a 36% improve in its store footprint. Whilst China will be the major emphasis in phrases of opening stores – it hopes to have far more than 45 outlets by 2025 – it also wishes to develop in Europe and North America. Baume thinks the brand name weathered the months of shop closures mainly because, contrary to quick trend shops, its consumers have a tendency to visit after or twice a year, so it did not make a distinction to wait right until retail reopened.

Zadig & Voltaire, autumn/ winter season 21

At the exact same time, Baume is committed to a robust electronic approach. Just before the pandemic, electronic represented 15% of product sales. For the duration of the lockdowns, electronic profits, representing revenue on its web-site and online current market sites doubled, but they have given that stabilised at 25%. The brand name aims to arrive at 30% by 2025. Component of the approach will contain creating a pre-order coverage, where customers will be ready to shops clothing on the web from the day of Zadig’s Paris vogue 7 days reveals for autumn/winter and spring/summer time.

Crucially, on the other hand, Baume would like to reach all this though launching VoltAIRe – Zadig’s international sustainability programme. It intends to use 100% environmentally accountable essential uncooked components by 2025: 100% of cotton will be natural 100% of virgin cashmere products will be Good Cashmere Regular 100% of its virgin wool merchandise will be Responsible Wool Typical and 100% of leather-based will come from Leather-based Doing work Team tanneries.

It is a bold new strategy for growth, and there will be issues in transforming Zadig into a mainstream luxury model in China and profitable above Asian individuals. But it is reassuring to see that alongside the business plan, sustainability is entrance and centre.