Lossmaking Sonia Rykiel undergoes radical restructuring, closes diffusion line

French fashion house Sonia Rykiel is to close its secondary line and its childrenswear collection as it targets a returns to profits by 2019, the company said Wednesday. The closure of the Sonia by Sonia Rykiel line will see between a quarter and half of the 300-plus jobs at the house being cut.

Sonia Rykiel – Spring-Summer2017 – Womenswear – Paris – © PixelFormula

It will also lower prices for its main Sonia Rykiel line with the company keen to retain accessible price points for the brand as a whole.

CEO Eric Langon said that sales rose 3% last year, the first increase since 2008. But despite this the company remains lossmaking having having suffered in the wake of lower spending in Europe due to terrorist attacks, a slowdown in Asian consumer spending and the weaker Russian economy. However, it has remained popular in the US.

The Sonia diffusion line has four standalone stores as well as four department store concessions. Most of these will close.

Hong Kong-based Fung Brands acquired control of the company in 2012 with the founding family retaining a 20% stake. Fung took complete control this year.

It is known that at least 79 of the 330 workers at the company will go with a wide number of departments being affected, including design, administration and distribution.

Some reports said that the house’s owners have given it an ultimatum to turn itself around or a total closure is a possibility. However, this could not be confirmed.

Sonia Rykiel was founded in 1968 with the label being a key influence on the look of the late 60s and 1970s. Sonia Rykiel herself died in August aged 86.

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