With new boutiques about to open at Lyon, Bordeaux and Béziers, the French brand has just recruited a network director to manage the commercial policy of its very own boutiques. But Le Temps des Cerises won’t be stopping there; the company is striving to develop on an international scale: "We are looking to concentrate our efforts in this direction," a company spokesperson confirmed. FashionUnited: What added value can Le Temps des Cerises claim over other French and European fashion outlets? Nicolas Faure, Communications Manager: First and foremost Le Temps des Cerises is the story of a family business developed by a father and son. Added to this is a finely-worked product with, above all, an impeccable cut. A good pair of jeans should give a flattering fit for the backside, and this has been the secret of the brand’s success since the very beginning. We have developed a high-quality image offering a clear identity, all the while proposing products that are highly affordable. We give the consumer access to a quality brand that won’t break the bank; this is our commercial strategy as was established right from the very start: our prices will never be overinflated. After developing our menswear range, Japan Rags, we went on to launch a childrenswear selection, keeping with the same vintage approach for an authentic look. Much more than just simple shops, our boutiques reflect our brand’s whole frame of mind, presenting a certain art of living.
FashionUnited: In comparison with dominant labels such as H&M and Zara, how do you define your brand’s positioning (target market, price range, etc.)?
Nicolas Faure: In comparison with H&M and Zara, we are positioning a real fashion brand, whereas the major chains are no more than textile distributors. They have no specific identity, no brand universe and do not promote particular values; chains of this type simply adapt to the current trends and reproduce what the main brands are already doing: where today they’re developing jeans, in six months they’ll be producing silk knitwear. They don’t promote an identity; today consumers will proudly vaunt a Chanel jacket or jeans made by any jeans specialist, but the same is not to be said for t-shirts by H&M or jeans by Zara. Ours is a brand that consumers know they can depend on, that allows them to adhere to a certain philosophy and state of mind, and a particular identity. With the large expanse of social networking websites that have appeared recently, it has become indispensible to belong to a specific identity or group, and the way people dress remains an external indicator of the values that they adhere to. Our force lies in having created a strong identity through our products and our boutiques, staying true to the values we hold dear, such as the authenticity of our product.
FashionUnited: What are the company's objectives and what direction do you wish Le Temps des Cerises to take over the course of 2010?
Nicolas Faure: As of this winter we have been focusing on developing accessories. We want to present our customers with a complete wardrobe by offering them an all-encompassing range. With the denim sector as competitive as it is, it is not enough for us to simply offer a range of denim and stop at that: we need to present our universe to customers, offering a whole lifestyle and original attitude. Our quest to offer this concept to our customers has received a boost recently, with the launches of our very own boutiques gathering speed. This enables us to present our collections in their own particular universe, and the results seem to speak for themselves. We are relaunching one of our jeans brands, Lord Richards, a bottom-of-the-range label, and meanwhile we are launching a new, more creative brand, the higher-range LTC label, which is aimed at a different distribution network from the current one. This is a more specialized network
that enables its well-kept secrets to be retained.