April 4, 2005 - Donald Potard, President
of Jean Paul Gaultier Group for the past fifteen years, has announced
his resignation. In a press release dated April 4, he said "My aim
was to transform a small ready to wear company into the youngest Luxury
House. That aim has been reached as now our Group is linked to the
most prestigious partner: Hermès.
As this partnership has been working perfectly for the past 5 years,
I now consider my mission as accomplished."
Jean Paul Gaultier Couture embarked on a period of restructuring in November 2004 in an attempt to stabilize finances by the end of 2005. To date, some thirty employees have been laid off from the Paris headquarters.
Potard's major accomplishment during his tenure with the label was the launch
of the haute couture division in 1996. Even in difficult economic times, the
House has continued to show a collection at the biannual Paris shows. Speaking
backstage after the most recent couture event in January 2005, Potard was emphatic
concerning the future. "Of course we're going to continue the couture line," he said. "At
Under Donald Potard's watch, the Group's earnings grew from a turnover of 6 million € in 1990 up to 28 million € in 2004. Jean Paul Gaultier Couture sold a total amount of 570 million € in
products under the brand name worldwide in 2004.