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Bigote Paris, a New French Brand Intent on Splashing Colours across the World

Publié le March 8, 2013, Mis à jour le June 24, 2014

Blending the know-how of French craftspeople to the modernity of a young team set to face the world is the ambitious credo of this new brand of « Made in France » shoes and accessories. Bigote Paris was launched at a private sale event which was held in Paris on Saturday 9th March under the support of Michel et Augustin and Gallia Paris. On the occasion, a presentation was delivered by Guillaume Sarfati, EM Strasbourg graduate, and Vincent Renard, two members of the team who initiated the project.

Can you briefly describe your new brand concept?
Guillaume: Our idea is straightforward: we wish to offer a young and trendy brand aimed at the Asian market. As we see it, “Made in France” is primarily about authenticity and a u history. The boldness of our strategy lies in the fact that we decided to break into the Asian market before developing mature markets as in France or Europe.

Vincent: Our products will be produced in the workshops of our three French craftsmen while our shoe offer will build on famous French models with a « Bigote » touch.

How will the brand stand out?
Guillaume: Our brand stands out thanks to our customised models and the various design details across our whole collection. Our brand name sums up our intention to depart from the norm by selecting a word with a derogatory connotation - “a bigot woman”, a bitter and intolerant old lady -, which allowed us to toy with radically opposed identity and positioning

How did the project originate?
Guillaume: After I completed my last year of studies in Atlanta, I had the opportunity to spend a gap year in New York. That’s in fact where I met Vincent, who is primarily behind the project. Eugénie Baudry and Quentin Lin then joined the team as full-time staff members.

Vincent: My initial idea was to sell rope-sole shoes in New York, only to realise that the market was already saturated. A trip to Asia and a few months of pondering allowed me to see Hong Kong as an ideal gateway. Upon return to France, I drove Guillaume into this wild venture.

What advice would you impart to EM Strasbourg Business School students?
Vincent: There are no set rules, nor any ideal age to set up one’s own business. All that is needed is a measure of daring, a good team and a different idea that will capture the interest of the target market. The importance of u networking contacts must not be overlooked. One must be ready to reach out to those who are equipped with skills we don’t have. For me, entrepreneurship is rather something that you experience than learn at school!

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