Patou and Walter Albini are seeking a relaunch, for which they claim leather goods will play a decisive role. The former belongs to the LVMH galaxy. Bidayat, owned by Alsara Investment Group, is instead preparing to relaunch the brand Walter Albini. Acquired in May, the brand is back in the news (also) because of rumours that it is a possible landing place for Gucci’s former creative director Alessandro Michele. A rumour that has never been confirmed, but was also never denied.
The relaunch of Patou
Sophie Brocart, CEO of Patou, says that the brand’s sales have doubled in 2022 and are growing strongly this year. A good starting point for a brand that was dormant for 30 years and resurrected by LVMH in 2018. Development plans include a shop in Paris in 2024, increasing exports (China and the US above all) and doubling sales of accessories. Patou, in fact, introduced leather goods last year. After the launch of a leather model (La Patou, pictured), other models followed, demonstrating the interest in the category. “Accessories represent a small but growing part of our sales,” Brocart comments to Vogue Business.
Walter Albini’s driver
“In a market dominated by big players, there is still room for niche brands with a unique ethos,” says Mario Ortelli, CEO of consultancy firm Ortelli & Co, speaking of Patou. But it is a phrase that also gives hope to the brand Walter Albini. Its new owner, Egyptian entrepreneur Rachid Mohamed Rachid, wants to relaunch it. Rachid is founder of Alsara Investment Group, and CEO of Mayhoola for Investments, the Qatari fund that owns Valentino, Balmain and Pal Zileri. And not only that: from 2004 to 2011 he was Minister of Trade and Industry in Egypt. Alsara owns several luxury brands including Okhtein, an Egyptian leather bag brand, and controls the investment company Bidayat, which acquired Walter Albini in 2022. The relaunch is expected by the end of the year. The driver? Leather goods.