Founded in 1978 by the then 22-year-old Léo Guy Amsallem, LÉO GUY started out with dresses, outfits, ladies’ suits, evening gowns and bridal wear, but today it is an expert in sweaters, cardigans, twinsets and dresses for women over 30.
In its two annual collections, the firm puts out between 550 and 600 models each year. “With my team of seven fashion designers, we create models that are then produced by one of ten partner firms in China,” Mr. Amsallem, president of LÉO GUY, says. “We have been cooperating with them for more than ten years now, and they have a good idea of what we want. We always keep an eye on quality.”
LÉO GUY’s unique style positions the company in a niche market. “We have a concept of elegance,” Mr. Amsallem attempts to put that style into words. “We took the flair of our original collections and transferred it to our knitwear. These are products that are elegant yet comfortable and leave you well-dressed at any time of the day.”
Despite its fashionable look, clothing by LÉO GUY is surprisingly affordable. “Our culture of elegance makes us stand out from the competition and leads to our being offered in renowned boutiques,” Mr. Amsallem points out. “Customers are then pleasantly surprised by our reasonable prices.”
With an export rate of 90%, the bulk of LÉO GUY’s products make their way to about 15 different countries, including the EU, Canada, Japan, Russia and the Ukraine. Sales take place via exclusive agents, and since last winter, the company has had five independent agents throughout France with surprisingly positive results in the west of the country.
LÉO GUY, with its 20 employees, has an annual turnover of approximately 14 million EUR and presents at a variety of fairs, such as the Who’s Next in Paris, the CPM in Moscow and the Kyiv Fashion in Kiev. LÉO GUY is constantly on the lookout for new, innovative materials, as well as new trends and colours. “Design is highly important to us,” the president explains. “Nearly half of our staff myself included work solely on the creation of new fashion.”
This dedication has given the company double-digit growth rates over the past decades, even in 2012 when other designers in France were experiencing little expansion. The next step is the establishment of LÉO GUY-brand boutiques in cooperation with agents in a variety of metropolises, such as Kiev, Dubai and Barcelona.