Amour Vert rebrands to think big

Amour Vert rebrands to think big


Founded in 2009 by Linda Balti and Christoph Frehsee in San Francisco and backed by Connecticut-based majority investor Emil Capital Partners since 2023, ready-to-wear brand Amour Vert has announced the opening of its sixth brick-and-mortar store in Long Beach. With a strong focus on sustainability, the brand is patiently weaving its network of boutiques in California, and will soon open new locations in Irvine and San Diego. FashionNetwork.com spoke to CEO Dominique Mikolajczak about the brand’s new strategy.

Dominique Mikolajczak, CEO of Amour Vert – DR

FashionNetwork: You’ve just announced the opening of a sixth boutique in Long Beach, followed by Irvine and San Diego. How do you choose your locations?
 
Dominique Mikolajczak: We see great growth potential for Amour Vert in Southern California. These three locations are premier shopping destinations that attract our target audiences and all of them have been strong online markets for us. 2nd & PCH, a retail center at 6440 E. Pacific Coast Highway in Long Beach continues to expand and we’re proud to be a part of that growth. Similarly, Westfield UTC’s recent renovation as well as their shared focus on sustainability made it a perfect choice for our next location.

FNW: The brand is mainly present on the Californian market. Are there any other developments to come in California? And are you interested in other U.S. markets, and in what timeframe?

D.M: We currently have a great presence in Northern California, including our new Sausalito and Santa Rosa locations, and we feel there is potential to roll out 20-plus locations in SoCal from San Diego to Santa Barbara, with a primary focus on the Los Angeles metro area. Once this is achieved, we’ll approach our cross-country expansion to markets on the East Coast and potentially internationally. Rather than opening single locations in different metropolitan areas across the country, we have a market after market strategy approach that dictates our long-term strategy.
 
FNW: You’re also exploring other markets like Chicago. What are your intentions?
 
D.M: We are exploring select markets such as Chicago, which opened last Fall at Westfield Old Orchard. It was important for us to experiment in an environment with different seasons. This allowed us to develop product categories that were new to us – such as cashmere collections, sweaters and outerwear – that would support our growth and act as a first step before expansion into areas such as New York, Boson, Washington, D.C. We are still new but we have seen traction and there is no doubt the store will perform well for us.

Amour Vert Long Beach new store – DR

FNW : You’ve announced a rebranding of your brand. In which direction will it happen ?

D.M: Amour Vert has undergone a visual and conceptual brand evolution guided by a partnership with design agency Malherbe Paris, who was pivotal in shaping the new identity, emphasizing femininity and light, from logo redesign to store aesthetics. Our new logo mirrors our roots in French sophistication and California cool, drawing inspiration from the elegance of Art Deco while embracing modernity to embody the brand’s essence and commitment to classic style and innovation. The rebrand also extends to our collections as we continue to re-pioneer sustainability and redefine our pieces, re-emphasizing on small batch production and evolving the distinct Amour Vert style through new materials, design inspiration and direction, while staying true to its quintessence.
 
FNW: You also want to strengthen your omnichannel presence?
 
D.M.: An extreme emphasis is being put on elevating the omni-channel experience, allowing the Amour Vert consumer to experience the brand where she likes and for the brand to continue to be a relevant player in the premium lifestyle market. Malherbe Paris’ experience in the space, combined with insight and dedication, has in particular helped to envision a holistic 360/omnichannel approach for the brand. Emphasizing femininity, and exuding light and soft textures, have played a pivotal role in shaping the new identity. Malherbe’s commitment to understanding the contiguity between French sophistication and California’s vibrancy has enabled the team to create a refined concept that resonates with consumers.
  
FNW: You’re also announcing the move of your headquarters to Los Angeles. Why is it important to be in Los Angeles rather than San Francisco?

D.M: Amour Vert’s relocation from San Francisco to Los Angeles signifies a strategic shift towards maximizing opportunities in a crucial fashion hub and port of entry – enabling enhanced access to talent, resources like showrooms and events, and immersion in Southern California’s vibrant fashion scene.

Amour Vert Summer Spring’s 2024 collection – DR

Your brand has been known for its sustainable commitments. How do you stay sustainable when you expand?

D.M:  Since its inception in 2010, Amour Vert has been unwavering in its commitment to a sustainable future. We are dedicated to establishing responsible supply chains and partnering with thoroughly vetted collaborators, ensuring transparency from raw material sourcing to the final product. Our product offerings utilize pure and low-impact materials such as regenerative cotton, zero-waste wool, and organic silk, offering lasting styles renowned for their versatility and quality. And a core strategic focus is centered around small batch production. For us, it is about finding the right balance of resources and capabilities as we continue to grow and evolve and being as efficient as possible with everything from our design services and samples to production facilities.  
 
Do you now produce your collections exclusively in the U.S.?
 
D.M: We have identified the optimal balance between going offshore in order to scale the business while still staying fully sustainable and including local production whenever suitable.

 
 

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