Les Georgettes has enjoyed a meteoric rise to success thanks to its innovative customisable bangle and leather concept.
Here, IJL talks to Frédéric Brunel Acquaviva, vice president (France and International) of the brand’s parent company, Renaissance Luxury Group, to find out more…
Q: What was the first spark of inspiration for Les Georgettes and what can you tell us about the history of the company?
Les Georgettes is a creation by Maison Altesse, France’s leading jewellery manufacturer established in 1905, and Texier, a renowned leather goods manufacturer in the Brittany region. By combining premier in-house design, cutting edge technology and traditional jewellery craftsmanship, Altesse became and remains today, the largest jewellery manufacturer in France.
Today Altesse employs 250 craftsmen and continues to produce high-quality jewellery, with stockists in more than 60 countries worldwide, under prestigious premier manufacturing labels of Living Heritage and Joaillerie de France. Texier, which was also awarded the Living Heritage manufacturing label in 2013, was established in 1951. By using their traditional leather craftsmanship and high-quality materials, the company became one of the market leaders in the leather goods market in France.
Les Georgettes, which brings together the skills of these two houses, was launched in the French market in November 2015 and it has been hailed as one of the greatest success stories in fashion jewellery due to its unprecedented growth and popularity.
The first spark of inspiration of Les Georgettes was an idea to bring together leather and jewellery craftsmanship. The first prototype was a bracelet cut with an animal design (a crocodile design) which is usually a style of leather. Next, came the idea of interchangeable and reversible leather bands, and the rest, as they say, is history!
Q: How has Les Georgettes grown both in the UK and internationally?
Within 6 months of launching in France in November 2015, the brand grew to become the market leader in customisable jewellery, just behind Pandora. Following the enormous success of Les Georgettes in France, we took the decision to expand internationally. We established an international distribution network, working with eight subsidiaries for our key markets in the UK, USA, Germany, Italy, Hong Kong, China, Japan and Australia, as well as premier distributors for our secondary markets.
In just one and a half years since launching the brand, we now have more than 2,200 points of sale worldwide, with nearly 200 of those in the UK thanks to our talented sales team, after launching in September 2016.
Les Georgettes to date has produced and sold over 500,000 bracelets, 1 million leather bands and 100,000 rings.
Q: Are there any best-selling designs or combinations and why do you think these are so successful?
The very nature of the Les Georgettes concept means that with so much variety and customisation, there is no real winner in terms of best-selling combinations; every piece is unique to match each woman’s personal style.
However, when we look at each aspect of our pieces individually, our Giraffe and Perroquet designs, which were first produced as part of our debut collection in November 2015, remain the brand’s best-sellers. These pieces belong to our Les Essentielles collection, which is ready-to-wear, to be worn day-in, day-out. Each season there seems to be a stand out new design that tops the list too – in our SS17 collection for example the Ruban design was one of our most popular.
A similar pattern is seen within our top-selling leather bands; the Black/White and Pale Grey/Pale Pink bands which have been around since our first collection remain at the top of our list. In the Summer 2017 period, our new arrivals Nude/Aquatic and Orange Lilium/Blue Nimbus came in closely behind these classic colours in terms of sales.
In terms of bracelet size, our 40mm and 25mm size remain the most ‘in-demand’ and silver seems to be the preferred finish.
Q: What do you want retailers to know about your brand?
As well as the originality of our products, retailers should also know that is also an easy way of building loyalty with their customers. As our range of coloured bands grow, with new colours and new accessories every two months, you can drive your clients back into the store to purchase – as mentioned before the possibilities of customisation for each client is truly limitless.
We have a full merchandising offer to match the jewellery – everything in the Les Georgettes universe, from the packaging to the stands, is co-ordinated to show the variety of possibilities and colours that we can offer.
Aside from this, our coloured and customisable jewellery makes for a very eye catching window display that attracts a lot of interest.
Q: What is next for Les Georgettes, will you be launching any new products at IJL?
Absolutely – there are so many upcoming projects we are excited about! Firstly, we will be extending our existing bracelet and ring collections, with new designs and sizes. We are also proud to present at IJL our upcoming necklace collection for the first time in the UK market, featuring pieces inspired by our best-selling bracelets collection.
We will also be unveiling our first venture into our leather goods collection, with the arrival of the customisable Bijou Bag (above), which was a logical step for our brand given our long history of producing leather goods.
Discover more at IJL 2017 from September 3-5 at Olympia. Say hello to Les Georgettes at Stand D81.