The Fashion Folk S01 ep6 : Michel Gouten, Lancel Fashion, [Paris]
Interview with Michel Gouten
The potential today for a "small" luxury company is larger because the large luxury conglomerates have extended the taste of the people. If you are a creator and you give to the people something attractive and someting that they really love, they will buy and you will be a success.
Lancel is a fantastic brand, a sleeping brand and Richemont discovered that
and bought Lancel and now he will try to develop Lancel.
I came to this company 2 years ago to give certain direction and certain know
how to the group, and to rebuild the strategy. First to explain to the people
what is Lancel - it is a little complicated for the people and now it is easy to
understand that for direction. Secondly a French Company with a huge
potential all over the world.
Luxury is first Quality. Second, respect of your clientele - this is luxury long
term. Lancel - 155 years, long term it is still here o.k. And not only to sell very
expensive product and then to change - no, no, no luxury is not only
KM: Because Luxury is such a special thing if you do it wrong it is a big
catastrophe so how do you....
You cannot go wrong, you cannot - if you have a good staff, if you go inside a
brand, if you think about and you take time o.k. not so long but if you take
time, you cannot go wrong because the history is there.
KM: But the history is not telling you the future?
No, no Yes! Yes!
KM: Ten years ago when I went to Boucheron, there was Mr. Boucheron, ten
years ago when I went to Van Cleef, there was Mr. Arpels, today this is
No it is not changing, it is because the brand Mr. Lancel is not there - 150
years ago he created Lancel but he died. If you take Dior it is the same o.k.
and you have a lot of things like that, brands like that o.k. then Mon.
Boucheron, is not there but Boucheron is there. And what is more important
Mr. Boucheron or Boucheron, Mr. Cartier or Cartier? Mon. Dior or Dior?
because a brand can live.
KM: In other words you are saying that a brand can live beyond?
KM: It doesn’t matter. So when you say that, what you are really referring to,
are you saying that then a Brand is the spirit of the person who created it?
KM: It is not the person who created it.
KM: And so if we can distil that spirit and keep that spirit alive then the brand is
Absolutely!! If the managers or the people who have bought the brand respect
this philosophy - they can change a little, they can adapt for 2000 o.k. new
century they can adapt but they have to follow the first idea.
KM: How do you keep the strength to not edit the brand according to our
taste? If you look at Christian Dior now you have got John Galliano doing
things for people like Dior - he is totally not Christian Dior.
Yes, but you don't know. Galliano is 2000 and Dior was not 2000, but if Dior
was alive today you don’t know what he would be doing.
KM: The one thing that has always struck me about the Richemont Group you
have gone for Jewellery, watches, obviously leather goods, this is your core
products, and table products. Why haven't you got a designer?
There are different philosophies, you have different directions, it is not just one
way of luxury marketing o.k. - different brands apply different marketing and it
is a success. Like that with the designer, without the designer - there are
different possibilities. This is important in the luxury market there are different
possibilities - it is not one way.
Every brand today from the United States to Japan, Italy, France and
Germany and the other, o.k. they make successes o.k. they have good
managers, the have good designers they have really good marketing, the world
is large for the luxury business. It is large for everything, but it is becoming
larger and larger for the luxury business.
KM: When you say there is luxury in Italy, there is luxury in Japan there is
luxury everywhere in the world and yet there are only 4 major groups in
Not only in luxury! Not only in luxury!! luxury is not an exception o.k. you have
it in cars, you have it in every corporation.
KM: Say today I decide to produce something of luxury, do I have a chance, is
it possible for me to become a big company?
KM: It is?
Yes, it is more possible to do this today than 50 years ago.
KM: Why do you say that?
The potential is more larger we extend the taste of the people it was like that
with Louis, like you say, only a few people were like that today it is like that and
then if have are a creator and you give to the people something attractive and
something that they really love, they will buy and you will make a success.
KM: When did you start in this business?
The life is like that....one day I meet Mon. Hocq who was the owner of Cartier
at the time and before he was the owner of Cartier and I start to love him like
you love a father.
KM: Yes o.k. but what excites me and what makes me fascinated is here I am
talking to someone who in all honesty between you, Alain and Mon. Hocq you
started something. I say this very seriously.
Yes, we know Jean Louis, we know today we started something, but when we
started we started because it was something for our hearts, we wanted to go
to the Malaga, we were like that o.k.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Michel Gouten, Lancel Fashion, Paris