WWD recognizes Jacquemus as the most successful fashion company, small capitalization – WWD

There are chinstrap expedition hats, and then there are chin strap expedition hats with strong consumer engagement.

Simon Porte Jacquemus came with the latter. His “Artichoke bob”, as it is called on the brand’s e-store, sold at the rate of around 10,000 units per month during the summer.

“It’s gone viral,” marveled Bastien Daguzan, CEO of Paris-based Jacquemus, which receives the WWD Honor for Best-Performing Fashion Company, Small Cap. He said the enthusiastic adoption of the bucket-style hat by his “community”, which includes celebrities, influencers and countless young people who are passionate about the brand, has fueled demand for the item.

Ditto for a panoply of other Jacquemus creations, headlining the successful Chiquito handbag, the new Bambino model, and its crisp fashions, such as lingerie.

The designer’s vivid storytelling on Instagram, where he has 5.1 million followers, is the not-so-secret sauce behind the company’s meteoric trajectory, with revenue more than doubling in 2021 to top 100 million. euros and a net profit above 30% of sales.

In an interview, Daguzan said the company is on track to double sales again in 2022 and has a medium-term ambition of reaching 500 million euros in sales. here 2025.

So much for the popular belief that it’s virtually impossible for a young, independent designer to achieve critical mass in a fashion landscape dominated by fast-growing luxury behemoths like Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Chanel, Gucci and Dior.

Jacquemus has done this by being a kind of hybrid between a pure luxury player – accessories represent around 65% of revenues, ready-to-wear the balance – and a digital-native vertical brand.

Its online store generates about 40% of revenue, with wholesale accounting for the balance. It’s a ratio that Daguzan intends to reverse, emphasizing that e-commerce excellence remains a key strategy. “The main goal is to achieve complete digital mastery, to improve the digital experience wherever we can and to intensify this channel,” he said.

A month ago, Jacquemus launched into physical retail by opening a pop-up store on avenue Montaigne in Paris, which became instantly Instagrammable thanks to its most unusual feature: a giant popcorn machine that invites customers to help themselves via an arcade-style claw.

The Jacquemus pop-up store on Avenue Montaigne in Paris.

Courtesy of Jacquemus

Daguzan cited a “super good” response to the store, which often offers longer lines than luxury neighbors like Dior, Gucci and Saint Laurent.

The executive described the pop-up as a way to showcase the brand in an “elevated” atmosphere and glean information from the brick-and-mortar channel. Already, he noticed that “ready-to-wear works better in this store than online commerce”.

Similar to a single-story sculpture gallery in white and beige, the tiered unit is also a forum for testing high-end products. While the average sale price of Jacquemus handbags hovers around 600 euros, the brand has introduced models selling north of 1,000 euros without much price resistance.

But don’t expect a big rollout of stores in the coming years. “The target we have for retail is 10% of our revenue,” Daguzan said, noting that this will come primarily from converting stores to wholesale to rental operations. It plans to operate “up to five” stand-alone stores at most by 2025, with the focus remaining on online expansion.

Currently, the Europe, Middle East and Africa region accounts for around half of Jacquemus’ business, with the United States generating 35% and Asia around 15%. At present, Daguzan is focusing on expanding into the Middle East territory.

As for product categories, he described “tremendous potential” in accessories, including shoes. “People are expecting more Jacquemus items, and maybe men’s sneakers as well,” Daguzan said.

The brand recently unveiled a collaboration with Nike, citing such enthusiastic consumer response that the website crashed.

Daguzan became full-time CEO in May after moonlighting as a consultant for Jacquemus when he was chief fashion officer Paco Rabanne from 2017 to 2022.

Jacquemus was previously both creative director and CEO of his brand, known for sunny designs rooted in the lifestyle of his native Provence.

Daguzan said he discovered the designer in 2011 when Jacquemus hosted a guerrilla fashion show during the Vogue Fashion Night trade event. The designer, then with shoulder-length hair, circled the giant street party on Avenue Montaigne with models dressed in his designs and hoisting a banner declaring “Jacquemus on strike” or “Jacquemus on strike”.

This won her the attention of a host of important fashion figures, including Emmanuelle Alt, then editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris.

According to Daguzan, Jacquemus then realized that he had to “create surprises all the time to be seen. He breaks the rules and because of that he gets attention.

Jacquemus is one of the few fashion brands to see now, buy now fashion shows – and he often parades his designs in beautiful natural locations: rolling lavender fields, a perfect wheat harvest, an idyllic Hawaiian beach and the other world. salt dunes of the French Camargue. Even her most classic indoor fashion shows can break the internet: remember Gigi Hadid’s viral hair flip at the Fall 2020 show.

The designer also shares his personal setbacks and triumphs on the brand’s official Instagram account. For example, her wedding over the summer to longtime boyfriend Marco Maestri caused a stir, with a post garnering 1.2 million likes. His dappled dachshund with blue eyes Toutou frequently appears on the platform and risks becoming as famous as Karl Lagerfeld’s feline Choupette.

Daguzan goes so far as to describe Jacquemus as a kind of media company. “Every time we say something on Instagram, you line up on Avenue Montaigne,” he said. “And that’s how we work: we create surprises to make people dream.”

Editor’s note: Hermès International is the winner of the WWD award for the most successful fashion company, large capitalization.