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France's Franck Sagne talks passion for fashion
Born and raised in Limoges, France, Franck Sagne is one of the country's most renowned Marketing Directors. Business, he believes, is in his blood, as he has always had a fascination for services and products that make him feel better and, furthermore, that make him dream. His prominent career in the luxury field exemplifies his dedication to such products. He is interested in services that require craftsmanship and creativity, and he appreciates things that require a lot of dedication by those who make them.

"They instill a part of their heart and soul into these products and that's what makes them magical to me. It was very obvious to me at quite a young age that I would dedicate my life to develop and promote such services and products," said Sagne.

Sagne is continuously sought-after to provide expertise and knowledge in his field, whether working to rejuvenate iconic brands like Moet Hennessy, or speaking at prolific events like the Forum Benchmark Lecture, hosted by leading media group CCM Benchmark. His vast understanding of his industry combined with his passion for what he does makes him a force to be reckoned with, and a recognizable name across Europe.

"My mission is to understand the brand DNA's tiniest chromosomes to be able to express the brand vision, strategy and the company's marketing activities in total respect to its roots yet in a contemporary way," said Sagne.

Sagne did just that when he became Marketing Director for the iconic French couture fashion brand Schiaparelli. A masterful fashion designer and visionary artist, Elsa Schiaparelli instilled a creative spirit in 20th century fashion. A cosmopolitan aristocrat, she revolutionized the world of Haute Couture from the 1930s to 1950s by mixing art and high fashion. Her iconic collaborations with such artists as Dali, Cocteau, Man Ray and Giacometti became legendary. Schiaparelli exercised her endless imagination to great success in ready - to - wear, accessories and fragrances (including her famous Shocking perfume). She reinvented dressmaking with her unconventional use of patterns and materials.

With a series of willingly provocative and avant-garde collections, the house continued lacing its designs with its signature shocking pink until ultimately shutting down in 1954. After over 60 years of absence, the house of Schiaparelli reopened in 2012. Sagne was more than ready to get involved in the revival of such a historical brand.

"I have always admired the talent of Elsa Schiaparelli and being part of the relaunching of her brand was something I would never have expected in my wildest dreams. Schiaparelli is a fashion house with a great reputation, yet it has remained a small company run like a family business. Relationships between collaborators therefore remain very close and the intimacy of the house is something the clients loved too. This company also works with the best artisans, which is the best way to preserve ancestral know-hows. Quality is more important than quantity, be it regarding the products or the communication tools and merchandising. I felt honored to be part of this one of a kind adventure," said Sagne.

Sagne has always loved fashion and Haute Couture clothing. Haute Couture dresses and garments are all handmade. It takes hours and days to make only one dress. Each of them is almost a piece of art. They require the dedication of experienced seamstresses and other artisans such as embroiderers. Haute Couture know-hows are very specific to Paris, which is said to be the capital of fashion.

Knowing everything he could about Schiaparelli as a brand, Sagne developed brand awareness and loyalty through online points of contacts. This included gaining an Instagram (over 130 per cent growth of followers), achieving more than 10 per cent of the brand turnover online (Haute Couture, ready-to-wear, accessories) while respecting budget constraints (-50 per cent in 2016 for online activities). He also greatly contributed in building a contemporary and edgy brand image though the website, brand content and merchandising, among other activities.

On top of this, Sagne co-edited Schiaparelli & the Artists, a book published by Rizzoli USA.  He worked on research, copywriting, and iconography sourcing, despite having no previous experience in such tasks. The book has been published on the occasion of the couture house's ninetieth anniversary in 2017. This book celebrates Elsa Schiaparelli's shared creative passion with the twentieth century's most esteemed artists.

"I very much liked the freedom of expression that I had. Everything I did was inspired by the brand founder's personality and codes which had to be treated for a contemporary audience. I had the opportunity to work with video artists, web designers, musicians, on developing innovative marketing tools. I also had the chance to meet the craftsmen which were working on the Haute Couture collections as we were shooting photos and videos of the collections making of. It was fascinating to watch all these talented seamstresses, embroiders, jewellers.

I also loved working on the brand's graphic chart. It has been quite a long and complex process but it was really rewarding," he said.

On December 16, 2016 Schiaparelli joined the select circle of French Haute Couture houses as a permanent member at the French Couture Federation. Schiaparelli was granted the Haute Couture tag at a meeting of a commission of France's Industry Ministry. There are only 15 fashion houses with the elite credentials, which carry stringent requirements, including established labels such as Dior and Chanel. Having Schiaparelli join this very exclusive group has been very moving and rewarding for Sagne, who was a large part in making it possible.

"I feel proud having been able to be part of the revival of the Schiaparelli brand. This was a lot of work but, most of all, a great responsibility because the expectations of the owner, of the fashion world, and of the customers were really high," he concluded.

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