In the fashion industry, there are names that marked for ever the history of fashion. And Thierry Mugler is one of them. Today, there are many changes in the brand… again. And based on the changes, there is some cleaning up done by Philip Shearer, Clarins CEO.
When Philip Shearer arrived in Clarins on May 2008, he brought his tuff reputation as being a business-master. He had the hard task to take over Mr. Christian Courtin-Clarins, the charismatic co-owner of the Clarins group. Some people call him “the american”, as he used to live several years in the USA, others call him “the cleaner”. In deed his specialty is to take businesses that need some “shake up” in order to retrieve the right path and make it happen. This time, and probably based on last sales figures, Mr Shearer decided to make things right. Let’s hope that he is right.
Who is out?
Mr Manfred Thierry Mugler
First things first. A couple of weeks it was announced that Mr Thierry Mugler, already away from fashion since 2002, was leaving his seat as Artistic Director of the Fragrance division. In some press releases, he was announced as from now own, the Personal advisor of Joël Palix, current CEO. One of the reasons is that Mr Mugler wished to dedicate more of his time to shows creation, choreography, shows outfits, etc… In deed, he has a great show in Paris that will be live next christmas called Mugler Follies. The question is: Can Thierry Mugler Parfums and Fashion still be the same without the creator? Especially that he has no role anymore at all as the second person to be kicked out is Joël Palix himself, the CEO.
Mr. Joël Palix
He was the disciple of Vera Strubi, the historical CEO and maker of the Mugler Fragrance Brand. During 4 years, he learned with her all the DNA of this unique brand. When Ms Strubi left her position as CEO later in 2007, Mr Palix had the extreme hard and delicate task to be the successor of such charismatic lady.
Mr Palix had a very hard task at that time. The leave of Ms Strubi was a shock for all the people working in the company. She was the godmother of the brand that built the name Thierry Mugler for ever in the Fragrance industry. It was all about daring and doing the right thing. Easy to say than to do, especially that since 2000, when the Angel fragrance line reached the 100 million $ business, not everything was good as expected. Many launches did not worked out as the market and the distribution was getting harder and harder. Fortunately, the Brand launched Alien in september 2005. It was the most daring launch of that year, facing Hypnôse by Lancôme and Gaultier2 by Jean-Paul Gaultier. Only the Mugler launch remained in the best-selling fragrances in the market.
Mr Palix vision of the Thierry Mugler brand was global. The fragrances need a strong fashion brand and vice-versa. So his aim was to consolidate both and push forward an ambitious strategy. In the Fashion side he names Rosemary Rodriguez as Artistic director of Fashion. She created the Thierry Mugler Editions, a collection of fashion items based on the best of Mugler. It was elegant, timeless and very feminine.
In 2010, it was the time for Fragrances to express the creative territory of the brand with the launch of Womanity. In the complete heritage of the brand’s DNA, Womanity had a very original approach with a massive investment in Digital Marketing. For the first time, a Caviar extract was used in a fragrance, which made Womanity one of the most original launches of that year.
It was probably the biggest launch investment ever for the brand, up to that time used to start small and grow year by year. Unfortunately while Alien continues to conquer new market shares, especially in Europe, Womanity is slowing down dramatically. Some stores do not sell it anymore. In 2011, big news from the fashion area. Nicola Formichetti, the young, talented and famous Lady Gaga’s fashion designer, becomes the new Artistic Director for Thierry Mugler, now Mugler. Mr. Joël Palix had ambition for this brand despite a very difficult environment. Now it is the end of the road for him at the Brand with a Star. He is official dismissed from his duties.
Nico Panda at Mugler! Would you imagine that? No way but finally it worked. When Nicola Formichetti arrived at Mugler to take over the artistic direction of fashion, it was big news. His first show was simply dazzling. Lady Gaga was there, she revealed live the single of her new record and she even catwalked for the brand. From that moment, we could imagine that the Mugler brand would go forward. Collection after collection, we would be surprised by the inspirational concepts. Mr Formichetti’s style brought a certain wind of modernity. Probably the issue was that fashion needs to be exciting but also …. distributed. Not everything was completely a success and let’s also give the highlights to the competition. Competition is really hard and the DNA references of the Mugler fashion is far away now from a young generation. So after a while, costs being always increasing and sales were not always in the positive, well, someone needs to “clean up” the house. Mr Formichetti must have a lot of activities that requires his attention, especially since he successfully launched his brand Nico Panda. So we believe that it is a good agreement.
Who is in?
So enough of negative news, let’s talk about the future of the brand. With the leave of Mr Joël Palix, The brand get back to a power-woman hands again.
Sandrine Groslier, new CEO
Sandrine Groslier and Thierry Mugler is what we could consider as a love story. She started as a marketing trainee in the International Marketing department of the brand. She went all the steps up to the top. Here her professional Bio, an example of professionalism and determination.
- 1996 to 2001 : International Senior Product Manager Thierry Mugler
- 2001 to 2003 : Marketing Director Thierry Mugler France
- 2003 to 2006 : Deputy General Manager Thierry Mugler France
- 2006 to 2011 : General Manager Clarins Spain
- 2011 to 2013 : General Manager Clarins Fragrance Group France
She is passionate about her work, daring, charismatic, hard negotiator and admired leader. She is the perfect candidate to be the successor of Joël Palix. She is a power woman, as Vera Strubi was during her presidency. She got a true hard challenge while she was at the head of Spain. She reorganized everything from the basement to the roof at Clarins Spain, so we know she is a good player to have when we are facing difficult situations.
What can we wish for Thierry Mugler?
We wish them to find the serenity and the vision that is requested to face all incoming challenges. They need a strong captain in the boat, good sailors and probably not to miss the big star in the sky that shows the direction and the hope that will make them accomplish the impossible.
Someone said that Impossible is not french. Mugler is a french brand so Impossible is not Mugler.
Info sourced on several press communication releases, including AFP. All content is copyrighted with no reproduction rights available.