SKIN IN THE GAME

How Yves Salomon, a family-run fur company took charge of their future, by having a clear vision of how to build their brand.

interview with THOMAS SALOMON

In this article:
December 17, 2018

photography by TOMMASO SACCONI

Please tell us about your upbringing: Where are you from? what is your personal, educational, professional background?

I studied in a Business School and started my professional life in an advertising company. I come from a long line of furriers’ who founded the family business in Paris in the 1910s.

So it was natural to quickly join my father. My vision is to bring to the family house a fresh eye, pulsing a dynamic and contemporary energy to the company across the world while keeping our unique craftsmanship.

Please tell us about the place where you create and how it influences you as a designer and as human being?

As general manager of the brand, I am taking care of the business of our retail stores (more than 14) and our wholesale partners (around 500) with prestigious partners including Harrod’s, Le Bon Marché, Barneys, Printemps, Galeries Lafayette, Shinsegae,…

When and why was your brand created?
After decades of providing skins to the largest houses, the brand was created by my father in 1980.

Through our expertise, we are trying to revolutionize the fur industry. Our passion for skins has allowed us to truly modernize our approach and change the image of fur in the world of fashion and luxury. Lightweight, trend-driven and often combined with other materials, furs are updated every season under the direction of our creative and artisanal workshops.

What is the vision of your brand? And who is your client?

I think part of our success comes from the fact that we work hand in hand with my father. Each decision is discussed and analyzed with him and the exchange allows me to bring a younger eye and an easier way to project the future of the brand and develop new ways to sell, especially with the launch of our e-commerce business at the end of 2017. Of course, being 100% independent also allows us to control our development.

Regarding our clients, the brand is for an active, urban woman who loves fashion and wants to be desirable in all circumstances. She has the attention to detail. The feature is that Yves Salomon coat can suit both a young woman and a business woman, already well anchored in the workforce. Our desire is that by wearing her coat or jacket, the woman feels like a unique person.

What were the early challenges and what was easy while working on the brand?

I grew up with the House, so it was easy to know the issues and priorities. And the first challenge was to open our own stores and become a retailer.

What are you most proud of?

Continuing to develop the brand and managing to keep it fun. The launching of the e-commerce platform last year was a big challenge and important step for the brand; now we can deliver to all of Europe and have some brand-specific web exclusives for all the lines sold.

What did you learn about yourself in the process? About the market / fashion Industry? And about your clients?

Fashion always needs innovations and news, it’s a sector that goes very fast. To surprise and interest our customers, we are doing some collaborations, for instance with Moon Boot, for F/W18-19, developing capsule collections; as for the shoes, we made sneakers.

What are your biggest personal and professional dreams?

I would like our company to be recognized around the world as a RTW House.

Do you have a support system? is there a person / agency / organization that helps you in your endeavors?

No, we are a family company. We only have a creative agency which helps us create advertising campaigns.

What do you think the future of fashion is? And how do you see your brand figure into it?

Season after season the brand is becoming more and more global in order to become a fashion leader brand. We are true to our core DNA which is fur products and develop the other categories like ready to wear and accessories.

For the future, we will still focus our know-how and our techniques on our collections by mixing the materials.

For the FW18-19 collection, we presented a capsule collection called PIECES.

PIECES stems from an observation. In a world where our needs are vastly different from those of our predecessors and where over-consumption poses a global problem, our entire relationship with fur needs to be reevaluated. Each fur has something exceptional to offer. Each fur is a precious luxury product that, when handled with great care, can be passed on from generation to generation.

And yet, as trends bypass one another with lightning speed, fur styles go out of fashion and become neglected. These furs are in perfect condition and result from a long artisanal process. So why not reuse them, instead of constantly rebooting the production circuit? This is why we made the decision to rationalize production by creating this collection. PIECES offers patchwork fur coats that are made from unused fur pieces and unsold furs. Some of them are used, yet always in perfect condition. Certain pieces are unique, others are available exclusively through custom order.