In November 2011 Marithe+Francois Girbaud announced that they were looking for a partner, preferably with industrial expertise. Today the company F.F.I. , led by Mr. Anupam Kothari and based in southern India, has been chosen to become the worldwide master licensee (excluding countries and products already under license). This agreement will make it possible to maintain key manufacturing bases in Europe and Asia, to preserve know-how and to expand overall production capacity. The agreement will go into effect for a duration of 15 years starting with the fall/winter 2012/13 season and concerns the production and distribution of the men and women’s designer lines. The operation will continue to be “made in Italy” at the Florence-based facilities, which will be reinforced in terms of structure and personnel in order to maintain the technical experience and culture of the product. The production and distribution of the “Le Jean de Marithé+François Girbaud” line will be managed in the Bangalore office and sourced globally.

Central to the strategy of consolidating the European market, the agreement also drives the development of the retail business plan with London’s New Bond Street store opening in July 2012 and a second phase which will focus on emerging markets and the planned opening of 30 stores in China over the next three years. The established objectives require the implementation of a new business model and quality sourcing in line with the expectations of the brand, those of the customers and all those involved in bringing the brand to different markets.

F.F.I. will ensure €40 million worth of production and industrial activity for Marithe+Francois Girbaud. The internationally renowned manufacturer currently produces 10 million pieces per year and employs 10,000 people. State of the art facilities boast the latest technologies, which work to streamline garment development and production processes as well as help safeguard the environment and health of the employees. Through F.F.I., Marithe+Francois Girbaud aim to strengthen their key position and continue their ambition to revolutionize the denim industry through environmentally sound practices.

The current reorganization and restructuring of the group will permit Marithé, Bachellerie and Francois Girbaud to take over complete control of their brand and to concentrate more exclusively on particular areas of their expertise while enabling them to focus on design and communication activities as well as their retail development plan. They look forward to working closely with Mr. Kothari, in whom they have found a partner who shares their vision and ideals and who has the capabilities to combine the beliefs and technology that will put the theories they have been developing over the years into practice on an industrial scale. The agreement with F.F.I. concludes a period of over 12 months of conferences in which Marithe and Francois Girbaud have led the movement towards a safer and more environmentally friendly denim industry and heralds their return to the heart of the business.