Retail in Asia


Rebranded Marithé François Girbaud poised for expansion in Asia with South Korea’s Layer

Layer, a brand distribution group in South Korea, has recently announced the completion of an exclusive licensing agreement for the fashion brand Marithé François Girbaud in Asia. The French denim and apparel label, established in 1972 by designer duo Marithé Bachellerie and François Girbaud, enjoyed the peak of its popularity in the 1990s but filed for bankruptcy in 2012.

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In 2019 Layer partnered with Marithé François Girbaud to undertake a comprehensive rebranding effort in South Korea.

The collaboration resulted in a refreshed version of the brand, combining its heritage with a more contemporary sensibility. The brand achieved sales of KRW 100 billion (USD 74 million), opening 61 offline stores across South Korea in 2023.

Source: Marithe Francois Girbaud

Banking on its momentum, Layer has unveiled plans to expand Marithé François Girbaud in the region, starting with  Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam, where it is negotiating with local distributors for the exclusive sales rights in these regions.

Marithe Francois Girbaud’s flagship store in Seoul, opened in December 2023. Source: Marithe Francois Girbaud

Shin Chan-ho, CEO of Layer, said: “By leveraging the ‘one-company strategy,’ which has recently emerged as a critical keyword in the global licensing business, Marithé François Girbaud’s headquarters in France and Layer will join forces as one team to enter the international market.

Marithe Francois Girbaud

We are confident of success globally, anticipating that the synergy between the extensive archives of the French headquarters and Layer’s unique expertise, honed through its success in the demanding Korean market, will be highly effective.”

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To re-introduce the brand to Asian customers, Layer also announced plans to launch Marithé François Girbaud pop-up stores by the end of the year.