January 29, 2023


Youth trendy style

Mariano Puig, who grew his family company into a fashion powerhouse, dies at 93

Mr. Puig grew up atop the company’s places of work and manufacturing facility, in a 6-story making in the Eixample district where by a noisy dumbwaiter carried packages to the avenue and big tanks of liquor sat in the basement. Following traveling to the vats in his youth, heading downstairs with his father to study the science driving perfume, he gained a chemical engineering degree and commenced doing the job whole time for the relatives organization.

Many years later on, he admitted that he never had a very good nose for fragrances. Alternatively he possessed a talent for cutting specials that remodeled Puig, the firm that bears his family’s title, into a vogue and fragrance powerhouse. Jetting close to the globe with a suitcase stuffed with soaps and perfumes, he negotiated licensing preparations and acquisitions with best designers these as Paco Rabanne and Carolina Herrera.

Mr. Puig, who was only 29 when he took the reins of Puig in 1957, led the company with help from his three brothers right until retiring as chief executive extra than 4 a long time later on. He was 93 when he died April 13 at a hospital in Barcelona, according to firm spokeswoman Emmanuelle Durand, who did not give a exact result in.

By the time Mr. Puig stepped down as CEO in 1998, Puig was just one of the few family-operate enterprises remaining in the luxurious-goods marketplace, which is dominated by company conglomerates these types of as LVMH. “Our competition just 5 years ago were family organizations and had the names of their founders on the door, but walls vanish, markets evolve,” he stated in a farewell speech. “Only 15 percent of corporations survive the transition from the second to the 3rd era.”

It remained a position of pleasure for Mr. Puig that his company weathered that changeover and continued to prosper. The business is run by his son Marc and has grown to contain models these kinds of as Isdin, Charlotte Tilbury, Jean Paul Gaultier, Penhaligon’s, Dries Van Noten, Uriage, Apivita, L’Artisan Parfumeur and — by a licensing arrangement — Christian Louboutin. In 2019, it documented revenue of 2 billion euros, or about $2.4 billion.

Even though Mr. Puig’s older brother, Antonio, concentrated on imaginative and style and design challenges, Mr. Puig spearheaded the company’s growth overseas, opening a U.S. subsidiary in the 1960s to deliver Puig’s fragrances and soaps to division stores together with Saks Fifth Avenue, Marshall Area and Neiman Marcus. He also commenced negotiating with Rabanne right after deciding that the enterprise “needed a French merchandise coming from Paris” to crack into the American market place, as he later on instructed Women’s Dress in Day-to-day.

The designer was by then acknowledged as the enfant horrible of French trend he had produced a futuristic collection titled “Twelve Unwearable Attire,” and when he achieved with Mariano and Antonio Puig in his business for the initial time, he supplied them a seat on stools manufactured from bicycle saddles. “They appeared quite present day to me. They wanted a title that was ‘virgin’ in the field of perfumery,” Rabanne later explained to Eugenia de la Torriente, writer of the 2014 corporate history “Puig: 100 Years of a Family members Organization.”

Their collaboration got off to a challenging begin. Soon after signing a deal with Rabanne in Might 1968, Mr. Puig and his brother went hunting for Champagne to rejoice. Strolling via Paris, they identified on their own in the middle of violent college student protests, with automobiles burning and barricades in the streets. Hoping to capture the spirit of the instances, Rabanne suggested a fragrance that smelled like steel and a bottle formed like a screw.

Those people strategies developed into Calandre, a strike perfume with a floral scent and a exclusive, square-cornered bottle — inspired by the U.N. tower in Manhattan — that Rabanne sketched on a paper tablecloth around dinner with Mr. Puig. “It was a good achievement in this period of time. We didn’t have the income to acquire aggressive corporations, but we felt ourselves able to generate a thing,” Mr. Puig explained to Women’s Don Day by day in 2014. “We described ourselves as staying brand name-builders.”

Mr. Puig acquired Rabanne’s vogue and extras traces in 1987. About that same time, he signed an settlement to generate perfumes by Herrera, a Venezuelan designer who had risen to prominence in New York. She afterwards instructed the web-site Organization of Fashion that she backed out of an additional licensing deal right after conference Mr. Puig at a celebration at her house, impressed partly by his company’s solution to organization.

“Family firms give me confidence,” she mentioned. “It’s pretty constant — how it need to be.”

The next of 4 sons, Mariano Puig Planas was born in Barcelona on Dec. 8, 1927. His father, Antonio, launched Puig in 1914. Through the Spanish Civil War, Mr. Puig left town with his siblings and mother, a homemaker, getting refuge at a tuberculosis sanitarium started by his aunt. The household organization was collectivized throughout the war, with the elder Puig remaining on as a worker, according to the 2014 company background.

As a youthful male, Mr. Puig was a champion water skier he later on served as president of the Spanish Waterskiing Federation and helped manage the 1971 Earth Championships in Banyoles, Spain. He went to Geneva at age 18 to find out from the perfume organization Givaudan, graduated from the Chemical Institute of Sarrià and took on expanding administration obligations at Puig commencing in the 1950s.

His father, who died in 1979, insisted that Mr. Puig and his brothers work collectively when operating the enterprise. “We have never ever produced an crucial conclusion without the need of dialogue, by phone, throughout weekends, or in a far more formal trend,” Mr. Puig later on mentioned. “We have not generally been in settlement, but we have constantly appear to an arrangement.”

Mr. Puig graduated in 1964 from the IESE Business enterprise University, part of the University of Navarra. He later on recalled that his conclusion to develop Puig was pushed partly by his collaboration with Max Issue Jr., whom he fulfilled in the early 1970s immediately after traveling to Los Angeles with his spouse, María Guasch. Alongside one another they persuaded the American cosmetics govt to allow Puig distribute Max Issue products in Spain.

“That is how I discovered what it indicates to be a multinational corporation, and I learned production and marketing and advertising methods that had been quite helpful to us,” he explained. “Spain was small and closed, and that created me think about what we desired to do and be.”

Survivors contain his spouse, whom he married in 1954 5 children, Marc, Marian, Ana, Ton and Daniel and 9 grandchildren.

In his past yrs as CEO, Mr. Puig obtained Herrera’s fashion business and bought the Paris style and fragrance dwelling Nina Ricci. He served as chairman of Puig’s holding enterprise until 2003 and was president of the Puig Basis right up until 2014. He was also a founding member and previous president of the Household Small business Institute in Spain.

Mr. Puig generally shunned the spotlight, providing few interviews but appearing at fragrance conferences, where by he was from time to time questioned about the industry’s future. He was usually optimistic — he experienced found his father guide Puig by way of the Spanish Civil War, World War II and the tough period that adopted, when Spain was isolated from the worldwide economic system underneath Franco’s routine. It was complicated to provide nearly anything in people yrs, but the small business had survived.

“In times of disaster,” he when claimed at a meeting panel in Paris, “you may possibly not buy an apartment or a new car or truck, but you generally have adequate to acquire perfume — or let’s hope so.”