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Leather Goods Brand Joseph Duclos Raises 7 Million Euros – WWD

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PARIS — French leather goods house Joseph Duclos revealed Tuesday that it has raised 7 million euros in funding from French entrepreneurs and family offices.

In addition to this cadre of investors bringing “their energy and [wide range of] expertise to our very young — or very old — start-up,” Joseph Duclos’ chief executive officer Franck Dahan told WWD he was particularly proud of having caught the attention of female entrepreneurs such as Lorène Martel of Caravelle and Aurélie Barbe-Hours, who is the CEO of Kairos Capital in the mix.

The funds, carried out partly in shares and partly in convertible bonds, will go toward the brand’s international expansion, with a further funding round already slated for 2024 meant to accelerate its retail projects.

Named after an 18th-century merchant who obtained royal warrants under French King Louis XV for his exceptional leathers, Joseph Duclos launched in 2021 with a mission to preserve rare materials, knowledge and craft skills in France — and bring this to an international audience.

Its full range of leather goods, jewelry and fragrances — designed by Ramesh Nair — is sold at its flagship at 54 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in Paris, while its e-shop serves around 20 international destinations, including the U.S., the U.K., Japan, China, the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong (SAR), Thailand and Vietnam.

Although the company did not disclose sales figures, Dahan said the company is more than 20 percent above its business plan, despite the current geopolitical uncertainties and that 2023’s figure was 3.5 times the previous year’s revenue.

But with 80 percent of Joseph Duclos’ clientele being foreign to France, the house’s “main flaw is being only present [physically] in Paris. Being far from clients means they have to wait,” said Dahan.

Hence the desire to “come closer to them with our own boutiques,” the executive continued, explaining that Joseph Duclos doesn’t want to go down the wholesale route “because we consider our mission is to transmit our vision of luxury, of what an everyday object of luxury is.”

After well-received trunk shows in New York, Palm Beach, Miami and Los Angeles, as well as pop-ups in Courchevel and Doha, where it brought architectural elements nodding to its Parisian flagship, the brand feels ready to take the next step.

Discussions are the most advanced in Japan, where the brand aims to open two boutiques in 2024 in “major cities,” said the executive. Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong is among the destinations where talks look promising.

In the U.S., which accounts for 60 percent of the brand’s sales to date, Dahan said the development model was trunk show-driven for now, with two sessions a year, although the company is considering both shops-in-shop and its own brick-and-mortar flagships.

Meanwhile, the brand is reevaluating the timeline of its projects in the Middle East — 5 percent of its consumer base but another important market owing to higher shopping baskets — due to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

For now, the Joseph Duclos e-commerce site accounts for 40 percent of the business, selling the brand’s six product lines that include purses, clutches, leather jewelry, small leather goods as well as perfumes and interior objects.

The average transaction stands this year at 4,750 euros — roughly the average price of a leather purse, without tax — and rose 24 percent from 2022. In the meantime, the price of purses was increased by 15 percent in early 2023, to “keep demand steady, particularly for heritage leathers” where lead times for materials takes months, he said.

Dahan attributed the success of the label partly to the pandemic, which served as a wake-up call for consumers, who “told themselves luxury had to be more personal, intimate and sustainable,” and to the ongoing leaning toward so-called quiet luxury.

“All this really crystalized and we see it. Customers come in, they don’t buy immediately, they want to understand the house [first],” he continued. “But once they buy, we have crazy repurchasing rates,” which range between 30 and 50 percent depending on the design.

Case in point, the Diane range, recognizable by its tassel-shaped metal clasp and which includes a clutch worn by France’s First Lady Brigitte Macron. According to Dahan, half of the customers who purchased from this range have become collectors of the design. He revealed there is a trio of top clients who have bought no less than seven bags each in the space of three years. 


PARIS — French leather goods house Joseph Duclos revealed Tuesday that it has raised 7 million euros in funding from French entrepreneurs and family offices.

In addition to this cadre of investors bringing “their energy and [wide range of] expertise to our very young — or very old — start-up,” Joseph Duclos’ chief executive officer Franck Dahan told WWD he was particularly proud of having caught the attention of female entrepreneurs such as Lorène Martel of Caravelle and Aurélie Barbe-Hours, who is the CEO of Kairos Capital in the mix.

The funds, carried out partly in shares and partly in convertible bonds, will go toward the brand’s international expansion, with a further funding round already slated for 2024 meant to accelerate its retail projects.

Named after an 18th-century merchant who obtained royal warrants under French King Louis XV for his exceptional leathers, Joseph Duclos launched in 2021 with a mission to preserve rare materials, knowledge and craft skills in France — and bring this to an international audience.

Its full range of leather goods, jewelry and fragrances — designed by Ramesh Nair — is sold at its flagship at 54 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in Paris, while its e-shop serves around 20 international destinations, including the U.S., the U.K., Japan, China, the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong (SAR), Thailand and Vietnam.

Although the company did not disclose sales figures, Dahan said the company is more than 20 percent above its business plan, despite the current geopolitical uncertainties and that 2023’s figure was 3.5 times the previous year’s revenue.

But with 80 percent of Joseph Duclos’ clientele being foreign to France, the house’s “main flaw is being only present [physically] in Paris. Being far from clients means they have to wait,” said Dahan.

Hence the desire to “come closer to them with our own boutiques,” the executive continued, explaining that Joseph Duclos doesn’t want to go down the wholesale route “because we consider our mission is to transmit our vision of luxury, of what an everyday object of luxury is.”

After well-received trunk shows in New York, Palm Beach, Miami and Los Angeles, as well as pop-ups in Courchevel and Doha, where it brought architectural elements nodding to its Parisian flagship, the brand feels ready to take the next step.

Discussions are the most advanced in Japan, where the brand aims to open two boutiques in 2024 in “major cities,” said the executive. Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong is among the destinations where talks look promising.

In the U.S., which accounts for 60 percent of the brand’s sales to date, Dahan said the development model was trunk show-driven for now, with two sessions a year, although the company is considering both shops-in-shop and its own brick-and-mortar flagships.

Meanwhile, the brand is reevaluating the timeline of its projects in the Middle East — 5 percent of its consumer base but another important market owing to higher shopping baskets — due to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

For now, the Joseph Duclos e-commerce site accounts for 40 percent of the business, selling the brand’s six product lines that include purses, clutches, leather jewelry, small leather goods as well as perfumes and interior objects.

The average transaction stands this year at 4,750 euros — roughly the average price of a leather purse, without tax — and rose 24 percent from 2022. In the meantime, the price of purses was increased by 15 percent in early 2023, to “keep demand steady, particularly for heritage leathers” where lead times for materials takes months, he said.

Dahan attributed the success of the label partly to the pandemic, which served as a wake-up call for consumers, who “told themselves luxury had to be more personal, intimate and sustainable,” and to the ongoing leaning toward so-called quiet luxury.

“All this really crystalized and we see it. Customers come in, they don’t buy immediately, they want to understand the house [first],” he continued. “But once they buy, we have crazy repurchasing rates,” which range between 30 and 50 percent depending on the design.

Case in point, the Diane range, recognizable by its tassel-shaped metal clasp and which includes a clutch worn by France’s First Lady Brigitte Macron. According to Dahan, half of the customers who purchased from this range have become collectors of the design. He revealed there is a trio of top clients who have bought no less than seven bags each in the space of three years. 

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