Lacoste heirs target 30% annual growth for Fusalp

Cristina D’Agostino

By Cristina D’Agostino22 novembre 2022

In 2014, following the sale of Lacoste to the Swiss group Maus Frères, the Lacoste heirs bet on Fusalp, and transformed the French label into a chic and technical sports brand. After Europe and Korea, the United States will be the next major growth driver.

The Lacoste family bought the Fusalp brand in 2014 (Fusalp)
Sophie Lacoste Dournel, co-president of Fusalp (Julie Glassberg)

Going from crocodile to rooster, the symbolic conversion did not seem complex for the Lacoste family. In 2014, following the sale of the Lacoste brand to the Swiss group Maus Frères a year earlier, Sophie, Mathilde and Philippe Lacoste bought the Annecy-based brand Fusalp. Founded in 1952 by two tailors, the brand capitalizes on the spirit of couture for sportswear. With the French Alps in its sights, Fusalp became the equipment supplier for the great ski champions of the 1960s, from the Goitschel sisters at the Innsbruck Olympics in 1964 to Jean-Claude Killy at the Grenoble Olympics in 1968. Soon, the famous ski spindle and anoraks with smocks close to the body dressed France for winter leisure. However, over the decades, with strong competition and successive takeovers, the brand in the hands of Joël Gleyze was no more than a sleeping beauty, employing only about thirty people out of the thousand it had employed thirty years earlier. Turnover had reached a ceiling of five million euros and all production was carried out in China. The Lacoste heirs judged the potential of Fusalp to be enormous. Its location, the shores of Lake Annecy, convinced the Savoyard family to take up the entrepreneurial challenge. Eight years later, Fusalp has a turnover of 42 million euros and is aiming for strong international development where 50% of sales are already made. Interview with Sophie Lacoste, the co-presidentof Fusalp.



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Why did you choose to buy Fusalp in 2014?

When Lacoste was sold, the family wanted to take over a brand with a strong identity (Archives Fusalp)

It's a team story above all. I took over the brand with my brother Philippe, my sister-in-law Mathilde Lacoste artistic director and Alexandre Fauvet, general manager of Fusalp and former number two at Lacoste. Fusalp’s values speak to us. We immediately had a real vision of what the brand could become, which was a sleeping beauty back then, but with very good fundamentals.  When the Lacoste brand was sold, we had several options. We could not work - a possibility that was never considered - or we could create a brand, but very quickly, the idea of being the passers-by, taking over an already existing brand, articulated around a vocabulary and a strong identity represented an exciting challenge.

What was it about the Fusalp identity that attracted you?

Its link to sport, of course, since we are a family of sportsmen and women. We liked its history, a true epic that has accompanied the great skiers of the French team, as well as its modernity in technical clothing, which is both chic and easy to wear, and which enables movement on the slopes, while traveling, on a bike or in town.

What was the financial state of the Fusalp brand in 2014 when you took it over?

Sophie, Philippe and Mathilde Lacoste (DR)

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