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New Era at Zadig & Voltaire: Thierry and Arnaud Gillier at the Helm, Departure of Cecilia Bönström and Rémy Baume


Paris, 25 January 2024

Changing of the Guard at Zadig & Voltaire: Thierry Gillier Takes the Creative Reins

In an unexpected strategic move that has shaken the French fashion world, Zadig & Voltaire’s founder, Thierry Gillier, is taking over the artistic direction of the iconic brand, while his brother, Arnaud Gillier, has been promoted to the president of the company.

This announcement comes with the simultaneous news of the departure of the long-serving creative director, Cecilia Bönström, and the CEO Rémy Baume.

Zadig & Voltaire, known for its chic and casual rock’n’roll aesthetic, is set to begin a new chapter under the renewed leadership of its founder.

Thierry Gillier, who launched the brand in 2007, has often been the driving force behind the best-sellers and creations that have defined the brand’s identity.

At 64, Gillier expresses a desire to return to the roots and to re-inject a personal vision into the brand’s design.

“It’s a big change, but it was an opportunity… We have to move forward. It has become more of a family house, and that’s what I wanted,” Gillier shares in an exclusive interview with WWD.

Arnaud Gillier, who brings years of experience in the technology and pharmaceutical fields to the brand, as well as his expertise in private equity, is expected to bring a sharp financial perspective and strategic management to the company.

This appointment marks his return after having co-founded a textile company with his brother Thierry before the creation of Zadig & Voltaire.

The implications of this reshuffling are vast, not only for the internal dynamics of the company but also for its business strategy.

With a global presence of 350 stores and a stable turnover of around 450 million euros in 2023, the brand finds itself at a stagnation point after rapid growth in previous years.

The company, which maintains a strong family tradition with Gillier as the majority shareholder, does not foresee an imminent change in its retail strategy.

However, Gillier recognizes the need to reinvent the company for the future, notably by focusing on the accessories category, which currently accounts for 40% of the business, and exploring new avenues such as hospitality – a field already fruitful for the brand with the success of the Château Voltaire hotel in Paris.

In the coming months, a new creative organization will be unveiled, promising the introduction of guest designers and perhaps even surprising collaborations.

However, Gillier remains discreet about the identity of these future collaborators and insists that he is not looking to recruit a big name but rather to preserve the original spirit of the brand.

The next collection of Zadig & Voltaire, scheduled for October, will be the first under Gillier’s new artistic direction.

Brand aficionados and fashion critics are eagerly waiting to see if this new era will be marked by a return to traditional runways or if the brand will continue to present its creations in an innovative and off-schedule manner.

What is certain is that Zadig & Voltaire is about to undergo a transformation that could redefine the landscape of accessible luxury fashion.

With a renewed vision and a commitment to focusing on rock as the essence of the brand, Thierry Gillier seems ready to inject new energy into the Zadig & Voltaire design studio, promising a future rich in creativity and true to its rebel-chic roots.

Image credit: Zadig & Voltaire

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