Professional buyers know very well the embroidered tee-shirts of French brand Maison Labiche! With their playful messages for man, women and kids, and their customisation service, Maison Labiche is now growing, and settled down in the heart of Le Marais, with a beautiful flagship store (105 rue Vieille du Temple, 75003 Paris).
Jean-Baptiste Richard, partner and general manager of the brand has answered Vidya Narine's questions about his career as an entrepreneur, the current challenges of the brand in a complex a fast-changing market, and the evolution of their wholesale business.
When did you become an entrepreneur and why?
I joined Maison Labiche in 2012, one year after the launch of the brand. The concept was already there: a perfect t-shirt for all, hand embroidered with a typography drawn by the hands of Marie, my business partner. Still, everything had to be built! I just graduated from a master in entrepreneurship and I naturally fell in love with the project.
What are Maison Labiche projects, internal or external, that are the most important to you?
We are currently redefining our business model in order to adapt to the requirements of the world of today and tomorrow. At Maison Labiche, we think that we have to use less but better. Therefore, we will soon optimise our production line, as well as our stocks. 70% of our catalog is made of embroidered products on the heart. Today, we order a finished product at the factory which is stored then sold during the season, usually very short.
By the end of the season, we do sales in order to sell the pieces left. Very often, we have remaining stock because it’s hard for a young brand to anticipate its supplies needs six months in advance. From mid-2019, the orders taken for the heart embroidered products on the e-shop as well as our stores stock and wholesale stock will be embroidered on demand at our French manufactures. We will essentially stock "virgin" products. This will allow us improve our sales and stock levels while producing less and smarter.
What was the input of Le New Black on your wholesale business or in your relationship with B2B clients, or even in the way you look at your wholesale business?
Thanks to Le New Black, we first were able to enjoy an interactive tool for our B2B clients during our meetings. It allows us to sell our stocks online in our B2B showroom, where all of our clients around the world reorder easily online. Brands will always have to meet with their clients in showrooms and at trade shows, but Le New Black makes the order-taking process easier and optimise our sales during the season.