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SMCP taps former Balenciaga chief Isabelle Guichot as CEO

By Huw Hughes



Isabelle Guichot. Photo courtesy of SMCP

French fashion group SMCP has named Isabelle Guichot as its new CEO following the resignation of Daniel Lalonde, who has exited the business to pursue new professional opportunities outside the group.

Guichot, a veteran of the luxury industry, joined SMCP as CEO of Maje in 2017, before which she spent nine years as CEO of Balenciaga. Earlier still in her career, Guichot spent stints as CEO of Sergio Rossi and Lancel.

SMCP said Guichot’s “passion for retail and fashion”, combined with her understanding of the French group and her “international exposure” in the luxury sector make her the “natural successor” of Lalonde.

A search for a successor to Isabelle as CEO of Maje is underway, SMCP said.

New leadership at SMCP

“I would like to thank the board for the confidence it has placed in me to lead the group and confront new challenges with the support of all SMCP’s teams,” said Guichot in a statement.

“As we have done under Daniel’s leadership, together with the Executive Committee, we will be aiming at delivering our strategic roadmap while addressing the current challenges of our industry to strengthen our leadership in affordable luxury and fulfilling our client’s expectation in a world becoming every day more global, digital, and responsible.”

Outgoing CEO Lalonde, who has been at the helm of SMCP for seven years, will leave the group by October 2021 to ensure a smooth transition, SMCP said.

The news comes a week after SMCP reported a strong increase in revenue in the second quarter of the year as it narrowed in on 2019 sales levels.

The group, whose portfolio includes brands Sandro, Maje, Claudie Pierlot and De Fursac, reported sales of 229.4 million euros in Q2, an increase of 59.1 percent on a reported basis and 61.1 percent on an organic basis compared to a year earlier.

SMCP is now 14 percent behind Q2 2019 levels, compared to the 17 percent it was behind in Q1.

The group said it “remains cautiously optimistic about H2 2021 in all our markets”.

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