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Christian Lacroix seeks creditor protection

Christian Lacroix, the French fashion house, has filed for creditor protection at a Paris court.

Christian Lacroix, the haute couture womenswear label which was made famous by references from Patsy and Edina in TV programme Absolutely Fabulous, filed a voluntary petition with the Tribunal de Commerce de Paris yesterday after sales buckled under the pressure of the global recession.

The business is reported to have lost €10 million (£8.7m) last year and sales of this summer’s collection are said to have been down by 35%.

Parent company the Falic Group, which acquired the brand from LVMH in 2005, said it intended to maintain its
business operations throughout the proceedings.

“The sharp downturn of the luxury market has significantly hurt our revenues.”

Nicolas Topiol, chief executive, Christian Lacroix

Christian Lacroix chief executive Nicolas Topiol said that The Falic Group had tried to sell a stake in the luxury brand over the last 12 months.

He added: “The sharp downturn of the luxury market has significantly hurt our revenues. For the past year, we have been looking for a financial partner to accompany the repositioning and development of the brand.”

“This process, which was in its final phase, was directly hit by the conditions of the financial markets and could not be finalised prior to the filing. The company expects to emerge quickly from those proceedings and to continue developing the brand.”

Over recent years the company has implemented a costly restructuring plan to focus on higher-end and haute couture collections. As a result of the repositioning, the lower end diffusion lines and accessories collections were axed.

Christian Lacroix also opened two stores in the United States, one in Las Vegas and a flagship store in New York on 57th street.

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