Christian Lacroix fragrance to be licensed off

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

French law courts have decided that the Christian Lacroix fashion house will close its haute couture business, while its fragrances and accessories will be licensed out.

The luxury brand, which is defined by a chic image with baroque detailing, has been running as a business since 1987, but is said never to have made a profit.

In a turnaround plan proposed to the French law courts by the company’s current owner, the Falic Group, the staff will be cut from 120 to approximately 11.

The move leaves Falic to enter into direct discussions with Gulf investor Hassan bin Ali al-Nuaimi, who has had a long-standing interest in the business, ever since Christian Lacroix announced it had financial difficulties back in June of this year.

Currently Christian Lacroix markets four principal fragrance brands, the self-named Christian Lacroix brand, Bazar, Tumulte and C’est La Fete, all of which have worldwide distribution, which collectively have been the most profitable part of the business.

The move to split the business up underlines the fact that consumers have turned their back on high end luxury brands as a result of falling incomes bought about by the global economic downturn.

Consequently nearly all luxury and high end cosmetics brands have succumbed to the added pressure caused by the economic climate this year, with most players reporting declining sales during the course of the year

Indeed, the situation has proved so serious that it has meant that many players, Christian Lacroix being just the latest victim to form a growing list of companies, have decided to call it a day .

As a consequence 2009 has spelt the end in the US for brands such as Crabtree & Evelyn, Prescriptives and Max Factor.

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