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Christian Lacroix: A King Without a Kingdom

By Stefano Turconi


Set in 2009, this case chronicles the key stages in the development of the Christian Lacroix Company, the fashion house founded by the eponymous designer with the financial backing of Bernard Arnault (LVMH). Lacroix’s opulent creations wowed fashion editors and wealthy fashionistas the world over and came to embody haute couture at its most magnificent and extravagant. Despite years of critical acclaim and an unrelenting commitment to extend product lines and expand distribution, the company never turned a profit. In 2005 LVMH unceremoniously sold off the ailing maison to the Falic Group, a US-based retailer and duty-free operator. But, in another ill-fated twist, the sudden onset of the global financial crisis and recession hindered attempts to turn the company around. In May 2009 the house of Lacroix filed for bankruptcy protection, leaving a commercial court in Paris to decide whether to restructure or liquidate one of the most iconic and revered fashion houses in France.

Learning objectives

  1. Illustrate business strategy in terms of identifying and debugging the causes of organisational inertia;
  2. Understand the key role of executional intent and how to muster the ability to take action that is appropriate to the business;
  3. Highlight effective turnaround management;
  4. Understand how to reverse the causes of corporate decline; 5. Gain insight into reconciling creativity and business in the luxury goods sector.


Publication Date: November 2019
LBS Case Code: CS-11-037
Subjects: , ,
Geography: ,
Pages: 29
Format: pdf