French brand Courreges takes retro fashion online

Tue Jan 24, 2012 4:26pm EST
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By Pascale Denis

PARIS (Reuters) - Courreges, the futuristic fashion brand of the 1960s, is poised to bring its vinyl boots and A-line mini-dresses back into vogue, relaunching the French name online.

A year after the brand was sold for more than 10 million euros ($13.05 million) to two directors from advertising agency Young & Rubicam, Jacques Bungert and Frederic Torloting, Courreges is now also aiming to expand its perfume business.

The simple shapes and minimalist black and white palette of the couturier Andre Courreges -- a protege of Balenciaga -- had their heydey in the 1960s and 70s, rivaling Chanel and Dior, before being sold to Japanese investors in the 1980s.

A decade later Courreges and his wife Coqueline bought back the brand but it largely disappeared from sight before the purchase by Bungert and Torloting in January 2011.

"We're hoping that the brand returns, in five to 10 years, to its former stature as a global brand with its dimension of innovation that earlier made its success," Bungert told Reuters.

"When the feeling of a brand is respected, it can be reborn without losing its integrity," he added.

Currently, Courreges clothes and accessories are sold at its Paris boutique in the posh Eighth Arrondissement, where sales have risen 40 percent in a year, Bungert said. Total revenue for the brand is now about 20 million, the executives said.

Internet sales begin February 1, and women will be able to shop online for nearly all the clothes and accessories currently sold in the boutique.   Continued...

<p>French fashion house Courreges co-Presidents Jacques Bungert (L) and Frederic Torloting (R) pose at the end of an interview with Reuters at their offices in Paris January 23, 2012. REUTERS/John Schults</p>