EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Maison Lejaby’s reshuffle places the business in strong position amid challenging marketplace

Salon International

After 134 years of business, French Lingerie brand Maison Lejaby has lifted the lid on the challenges it has to overcome and how it has weathered turbulent times.

Catherine Sardin, general manager of the brand, which was founded in 1884, sat down with Lingerie Insight at Salon International Paris over the weekend to discuss the business and give a sneak peak of what the company has in store for the future.

What sort of challenges is the company seeing and how are you tackling them?

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The challenge is big, to be honest. There’s a real re-shuffling we have been doing. We’re a historical brand that has lots of assets because Maison Lejaby has a unique history in lingerie, it’s an emblematic lingerie brand in France and has been since the 1930s and our challenge is to stick to our roots and to revamp the brand being loyal to the value that the brand has carried all this time.

The values of this brand are know-how, respect in terms of quality, fabrics and techniques and it’s a creative signature which brings in all this elegance, subtle differences that remain on the products, classic and bold at the same time.

How does the business look to stand out from its competitors?

[The brand is] a vision for women, and we try to convey that in our image the way we talk about seduction. It’s not just a question of body, it’s a question of mind, of personality and this is why in our campaign we had portraits and we’re not just focused on the body but the personality because we think that lingerie is about confidence and self-belief and this is what we want to offer to the customers.

With things like that to consider, how is the company looking to move forward?

With this re-shuffling there is, of course, design, there are strong lines that we are introducing as new fit, which we can see as a contraction between nudity and fitness, something that is very respectful to the body but very graphic in its design, inspired by the sports area. We have a few product launches that are quite key for us because they will fill in a very permanent business. They will be coming out now, AW18, Spring 19, it’s happening very quickly because we want to have a strong permanent base that can help replenishment but also to have 50% of the seasonals that bring in this creative touch and create interest around the brand.

What changes has the re-shuffle seen and how has it impacted the business?

So that’s one of the challenges, the second challenge is organisation because we have done a big investment on IT systems in terms of production so we can bring service to our customers and the other challenge is we want to recruit and convince as many women as possible that Maison Lejaby is the best way to wear lingerie today.

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