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by Timothy Hagy, Paris Editor

According to published reports, French luxury conglomerate LVMH, the parent company of Christian Lacroix Couture, is planning to sell the label to the Florida-based Falic Group. Simon Falic, CEO of the group, told Women's Wear Daily, "We are in final negotiations to acquire the entire brand."

Lacroix Couture (founded in 1987) has been a perennial money-loser in the LVMH chain, and its sale would underscore a strategic shift that has been implemented in recent years. An official at LVMH, speaking on condition of anonymity, explained to Fashionlines, "The 90s were all about acquiring labels, but now we're in an era of re-centering, refocusing on core money earners. Those labels that don't become profitable will be sold off."

For his part, Lacroix is said to be at peace with the negotiations in progress. "I am very confident, very serene" the designer explained. "I am very open-minded, and why not sell if they don't know how to manage the future of the house?"

Though consistently drawing rave reviews from the international fashion press, the Christian Lacroix label (couture, accessories, ready-to-wear and newly launched men's line) has always proved difficult to market, and the company has passed through 14 different presidents in the last 18 years. At the same time, Lacroix, who is revered as a superstar in France, continues to rack up interior design contracts: new uniforms for Air France, a new interior for the high speed train, the TGV, and most recently the interior facelift of a Hotel in the Marais district.

According to Agence France Presse, tense negotiations over the renewal of Lacroix's contract have been ongoing since last summer, conducted directly between the designer and LVMH CEO, Bernard Arnault.


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