THE FASHION LAW EXCLUSIVE - September served to most spectacularly mark Givenchy’s entrance into the U.S. market. While the Paris-based brand boasted an impressive list of prominent stockists and operated a couple of recently-opened brick and mortar stores in the Americas (think: outposts in Las Vegas and Miami) prior to September 2015, its presence here was certainly made known when it opted to decamp from Paris to New York to stage its Spring/Summer 2016 runway show and re-open its famed Madison Avenue store.
These events served as noteworthy occasions, as Givenchy, the LVMH-owned couture house, which has been under the creative control of Riccardo Tisci for the past decade, has long lacked a significant U.S. presence to mirror that of its sister brands Louis Vuitton or Christian Dior or Berlutti, for instance. This all began to change rather significantly in 2012, when LVMH appointed former Prada CEO, Sebastian Suhl, to make some major changes.
The opening of these domestic stores marks a much bigger initiative of the brand: Taking the U.S., who amounts to 20 percent of the brand's market, (and well, the world, in general) by storm, namely by way of a vast expansion into the retail sector by way of brand-operated outposts. Under the momentum established by Suhl (who has since jumped ship to fellow LVMH-owned brand, Marc Jacobs), Givenchy is in the process of opening a large number of boutiques. This count, which exceeds 25 stores, includes the Las Vegas store (the brand’s first foray back into the U.S. market) and the recently-opened Seoul flagship, as well as stores in London, Rome, Milan and Tokyo – with additional plans to expand further in Florida this year with a unit in the Aventura Mall, as well as in California — likely Orange County's South Coast Plaza first, followed by Beverly Hills.
As you may know, in December 2013, the Paris-based design house moved again to strengthen its U.S. presence, appointing Devon Pike, formerly of DeBeers, Juicy Couture, and Rugby Ralph Lauren, as its first-ever North American president. And now, roughly two years later, the brand has swapped Ms. Pike for a new North American President: Laura Dubin-Wander, who comes to Givenchy after spending four years in a Vice President role at fellow LVMH-associated brand, Christian Dior. It turns out, Pike has left Givenchy and taken on the role of General Manager of Gap, International in October 2015.
In her new role, Dubin-Wander will be responsible for managing and leveraging Givenchy’s brand strategy and developing U.S.-based activities, and will report to Paris-based CEO, Philippe Fortunate, who is overseeing such growth.