When Geoff Embley took over the number role at Wacoal Europe from long-serving managing director Tracy Lewis in January 2016 he had big shoes to fill, but reflecting on the last 12 months, he seems to have settled in with ease.
He had the ultimate in jobs, working as the finance director for Wacoal Europe, one of the biggest lingerie and swimwear groups in the world, with leading brands Wacoal, Fantasie, Freya, Elomi, b.tempt’d and Goddess brands stocked in more than 5,000 stockists, but after 10 years in the role, he was offered a unique opportunity to drive the business forward to meet its future goals.
On landing the role of CEO, one of Embley’s main objectives was to further develop Wacoal Europe’s fuller-bust brand offering.
In line with this strategy, Wacoal Europe sold its A-F brand Huit to Trendy Capital, owner of French nightwear brand Canat, in July. It has also given Fantasie a luxury make over amid growing demand for the brand’s premium collections, and introduced a mix and match concept for Freya. The Freya Fancies collection consists of brightly-coloured lacy lingerie styles that can be worn together or mixed and matched. The range now accounts for 11% of Freya’s sales.
Embley’s other main objective was to expand Wacoal Europe’s presence in Europe, particularly in Germany and France. In doing so, he has hired Dean Cooper, the former director for Northern Europe at Diesel, as commercial director.
He also led the company in opening a new showroom in Paris in December. Some 75 retailers and members of the press attended the launch in Saint Lazare.
Speaking after the launch, Embley said: “It was a great opportunity to acknowledge and thank our customers for the support they give us, and to also ensure them that we are committed more than ever to developing our brands in the European market.”
Company: Wacoal Europe
Address: Rothwell Rd, Desborough, Kettering NN14 2PG
Tel: 01536 760282
Focus: Fuller-bust lingerie and swimwear manufacturing
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