Founder, Marithé + François Girbaud
The denim market is undoubtedly one of the most unique sectors of the industry and for the first time ever, the leaders who have shaped the business will come together for one day, in one place with one agenda—to thwart the challenges of a tough economy and identify opportunities for global growth.
The first-ever WWD Denim Forum will focus on everything brands and retailers need to know to successfully forge ahead. Both leading veterans of the industry and emerging influencers will be on hand for networking opportunities, panel discussions and keynote presentations touching upon:
Rising trends in design and product development
The future of retail and new merchandising concepts
Global markets to watch
Trends in the digital space and effective digital marketing strategies
Husband and wife team François and Marithé Girbaud founded their company in Paris in 1964.
After the rollout of several successful jeans collections featuring stonewashed treatments and other industrialized washes, the duo opened their first retail store in Paris in 1972. Five years later, the brand became internationally recognized for driving the baggy jean trend, and by the mid 1980's, Marithé + François Girbaud had successfully captured American consumers. Around the same time, the company celebrated the opening of its first flagship store in Paris.
Throughout the years, Mr. and Ms. Girbaud have made notable contributions to the industry by pioneering new washes, treatments and technologies -- like the Wattwash eco-friendly manufacturing process -- that have continually pushed the envelope.
The Girbauds have also taken an active role in the marketing of their products, creating unique ways to reach consumers through shock-and-awe campaigns and creative collaborations, including a partnership with Cirque du Soleil for a New York fashion show in 1997.
In 2010, the brand unveiled Montmarcel in Paris, a unique retail concept that features all of the Marithé + François Girbaud collections in one store.
François Girbaud, founder of Marithé + François Girbaud, strongly encourages the denim industry to use denim washes that are safe for workers and to respect the well-being of employees. "For many years we bombarded some place with napalm and after, we go there to buy the jeans, because its cheaper," says Girbaud. "We have to stop that."