Referring to the recent article in Le Figaro, François Girbaud confirmed that his and his wife’s brand Marithé+François Girbaud are looking for partners to push international expansion: “Considering the necessity to expand worldwide and opening stores globally, I think it is a normal ambition opening our capitals to a partner. This is not an end. It's a new beginning and a stronger continuation." François Girbaud added: "I'm 70 now and our brand has been existing for 40 years. Many brands from the past have survived though being supported by partners - look at Lacroix, Yamamoto or Moncler. Though now we live in a different world, and there are very few independent brands left."

Within this year, the brand implemented its new shop concept in its store in Montpellier, for instance, and opened stores in Biarritz in June and in Toulouse in October. Still within this month, Marithé+François Girbaud will open a 200sqm-store on Stuttgart’s Calwerstrasse, as well as a corner in department store BHV in Beiruth Jnah.

Together with its new business partners, the company also has ambitious goals for 2012. In February, there are plans to open stores in Amiens and Grenoble in France as well as stores in China in Xian and Hangzou. Regarding their shops in the major department stores, the brand wants to expand its space at Printemps Haussman by a section on the fourth floor, as well as a ‘Homme’ shop at Galeries Lafayette Haussman.

Considering that a lot from jeanswear innovation came from the French duo’s ability to test and experiment, Girbaud continues: “We are master early adopters. We started stone washed, then employed polyester, worked on 'Blue Eternel', then focused on preserving the environment and saving water. Also a year ago, we explained at Denim by PV that laser was a new eco-friendly solution and sandblasting was dangerous. Now every denim brand is focused on these topics.”

According to François Girbaud, right now, the brand is working with Jeanologia on a technology that is based on the ageing of jeans through air and light that is as less harming as possible. Also new are some developments they are focusing on as the use of Photoshop directly on jeans for ageing them and for creating tattoo effects on denim. Another collaboration with cord specialist Saic Velcorex, is aimed at treating cord in a revolutionary way.

M+F Girbaud store
M+F Girbaud store