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Jul 30, 2012
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Manoukian: from bad dream to American Dream

Jul 30, 2012

The American group BCBG Max Azria is nudging the French brand Manoukian up the next step of its integration efforts for the label it purchased in 2005, changing the line’s headquarters location, its creative direction and distribution.

Manoukian headquarters have moved to the group's offices in Los Angeles to join the twenty brands owned by BCBG Max Azria. The former headquarters in Mercurol near Valence in the southeastern France will remain the group's European office.

In another separate but related change, the eldest daughter of Max Azria, Joyce Azria will take over the creative direction of Manoukian. She does not replace any one person as the collections were created by a collective style office. “In fact, it was logical that the creation of the Manoukian collections be integrated into the entire pool of the group's brands at one point or another,” said a spokesperson for the BCBG Max Azria group.

The group says that the steps are not about americanizing the style of Manoukian, referring to Joyce Azria's French heritage and American culture, an attitude somewhat consistent with the approach adopted by BCBG Max Azria since the takeover.

And finally, the French brand is making its debut on the U.S. market, one that will be more than just the icing on the cake. Manoukian will be introduced through a launch in 22 Lord & Taylor department stores throughout the United States.

Since its takeover by the BCBG group, Manoukian has greatly reduced its horizons, particularly due to the renaming of some of its stores to the BCBG label or even outright closures. Manoukian now says it has 69 locations in Europe plus 16 points of sale in Karstadt department stores in Germany.

For comparison, Manoukian had about 150 outlets in 2009, split between stores, affiliates and department store corners. After a few bumps and conflicts, especially in 2011, the brand now reports a turnover of 32.2 million euros versus more than 110 million for its fiscal year 2009/2010 (ended Jan. 31). The entire BCBG Max Azria group reports turnover of 97.7 million euros in Europe.

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