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Nicola Mira
Nov 20, 2019
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French label Koché signs licence deal with OTB group

Translated by
Nicola Mira
Nov 20, 2019

OTB has joined forces with Koché. The Italian fashion group owned by Renzo Rosso, through its manufacturing subsidiary Staff International, will develop, produce and distribute the collections of the French street couture label designed by Christelle Kocher from the Fall/Winter 2020 season. OTB announced the news in a press release, without indicating the term of this licence agreement.

François Goize

Renzo Rosso and Christelle Koché- François Goize

“Through Staff International, OTB will offer Koché all the services and synergies that an industrial group is able to provide, the essential assets needed by young, promising labels to grow. The key elements of this licence deal include product research and development, and the production and worldwide distribution of the label’s collections in the retail, wholesale and online channels,” stated OTB.

The first collection, for winter 2020, will comprise all of Koché’s product categories, from apparel to footwear, handbags and small leather goods for men and women.

Kocher, 40, already has an extensive experience in the luxury industry. She was born in Strasbourg, France, and is a graduate of London’s prestigious Central Saint Martins fashion school, after which she started her career at Emporio Armani. She then worked for a series of other labels, from Martine Sitbon to Chloé and Sonia Rykiel.

In 2009, she became first assistant to Dries Van Noten, then worked on the womenswear collection of Bottega Veneta alongside Tomas Maier. In 2010, she was appointed creative director of Maison Lemarié, the Chanel-owned atelier specialised in feathers and flowers. Kocher is still active in this role, and has succeeded in modernising Lemarié’s techniques, especially embroidery.

The deal with OTB is a major milestone for Kocher, one that is expected to boost the pace of Koché’s international expansion. Ever since Kocher founded the label in 2015, showing for the first time in Paris in September the same year, she has never stopped growing, and managed to position Koché in the luxury segment, endowing it with a fresh, sporty/street multicultural vision. Koché is currently distributed via the world's leading department and multibrand stores, like Le Bon Marché, Le Printemps, Barneys New York, Isetan, Selfridges, Joyce, etc.

As Kocher explained in a press release, “this partnership is strategic for me, and Staff International’s proven experience will enable Koché to reach the next level of its development. I’m enthusiastic at the idea of building the future of my brand under the constant inspiration of my mentor Renzo Rosso!”

Rosso was Kocher’s mentor after the French designer won the ANDAM prize in 2019. “I met Christelle at the ANDAM prize last July and I was intrigued by her approach to youth culture and her modern vision of fashion. I am happy to support her creativity and business development, and to put at her disposal our 40-year experience in this industry,” said Rosso, the founder of Diesel, one of OTB’s leading brands.

With Koché, the Italian fashion group has added a significant new name to its brand portfolio. Staff International already produces and distributes under licence labels like Dsquared2, Vivienne Westwood, Cavalli’s young line Just Cavalli, as well as the collections of Maison Margiela and Marni, owned by OTB alongside Diesel, Brave Kid and Viktor & Rolf.

At the end of October, OTB relinquished control of the accessories label by Italian-Brazilian designer Paula Cademartori, in which the fashion group had acquired a majority stake in 2016. OTB generated a revenue of €1.439 billion in 2018, and recently announced it has increased its stake in Viktor & Rolf to 70%, while also acquiring a minority stake in Californian label Amiri.

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