DALLAS, Apr 10, 2009 / FW/ — Its déjà vu for Christian Lacroix fans all over again. In Jan 2005, weeks before the Spring 2005 haute couture season began, news broke that LVMH sold the maison to Florida-based Falic Group. This week, Women’s Wear Daily and the Wall Street Journal reported that the Parisian fashion house is in talks to sell a state in the firm to private investors.
In the beginning, it seemed that the pairing of Christian Lacroix and the Falic Group is a match made in heaven. Owned by the Falic brothers – Simon, Leon and Jerome, The Falic Group has interests in luxury retailing and the second-largest duty-free shop group in the United States, with reported annual sales of $620 million.
With Hard Candy and Urban Decay already in their stable, Christian Lacroix would be the perfect vehicle for the Falic Group to break into high street fashion. Under their ownership, Lacroix opened two of its boutiques in the U.S., one in New York City and the other in Las Vegas.
Other deals were also made to make Christian Lacroix a recognizable brand in the U.S. and eventually make it a household name. Christian Lacroix collaborated with Avon to create an affordable perfume on one hand; while on the other hand, the French couturier was designing interiors of condo units for Dubai’s elite.
Yet, even after these efforts, the bottom line still fell short of profitability, according to the Wall Street Journal. Despite wholesale volume of about $27 million and about $54 million in total sales at retail stores during 2008, the maison still incurred ‘significant’ losses recently.
Of course, the global credit crunch and a full blown recession in the U.S. are not helping. How consumers perceive luxury goods had changed and though consumer spending had inched upward in February, it is still nowhere near compared to a year ago.
No official statements from Christian Lacroix and the Falic Group had been issued regarding the rumor. For all we know, this is just a rumor. But, with the current state of the economy, we just never know how businesses fare.