Fashion & Luxury Forum
Julien Tornare, 45 years old and born in Geneva (Switzerland), is the CEO of Zenith and one of the youngest CEOs of the luxury watch industry. Active for nearly two decades in the watchmaking sector, he initially worked at Raymond Weil for two years before spending the last 17 years at Vacheron Constantin: first as market Head for Switzerland, subsequently as the Brand’s US Director, and most recently as Managing Director for Asia-Pacific – a region where he helped grow the number of boutiques from 3 to 13. Tornare is now focusing on the renewal of Zenith which deserves a return to a centre-stage role. His vision is to rejuvenate and inject new energy through innovation – a quality firmly embedded in the DNA and history
of a 152-year-old yet undeniably contemporary brand driven by a resolutely start-up spirit.
Nicolas Topiol began his career as a bond trader and a treasurer for the French subsidiary of the Standard Chartered Bank. Subsequent to obtaining his graduate Masters in Business Administration from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, he joined the private equity and mergers and acquisition departments at Société Générale before joining the French offices of Apax Partners.
Nicolas Topiol moved to the United States in 1994 to pursue his private equity expertise in developing a commodities investment and trading holding Company with a fellow Wharton alumnus. In 1999, Nicolas Topiol made a direct investment and subsequently operationally joined the founders of two watch and jewelry e-commerce businesses in their inception (Timezone.com and then Ashford.com, Diamond.com and Worldofwatches.com) to lead the fund-raising and development of those Internet ventures organically and thru further acquisitions.
Nicolas Topiol joined with the Family office of the Falic Family in 2002, when he was retained to restructure one of the family controlled portfolio company. The relationship expanded to the establishment of subsidiary duty free retail and distribution operations in Central and South America, the acquisition from LVMH of Hard Candy and Urban Decay Cosmetics and the subsequent restructuring and development of those companies. Urban Decay was sold to Castanea Partners in March 2009 and is now owned by L’Oreal.
In early 2005, Nicolas Topiol negotiated the purchase of the House of Christian Lacroix from LVMH and became its President. Under his leadership, the House of Christian Lacroix established stand alone back-office, sales, IT, warehousing and logistical infrastructures previously integrated within an LVMH subsidiary. A complete brand and product repositioning strategy was initiated to position the Company as a pure play luxury brand close to its Haute Couture roots. In May of 2009, as a result of the worldwide financial crisis, the Company was forced to seek protection under the French Commerce court. Nicolas Topiol took the leadership in driving this process which was successfully managed with an exit preserving ownership and with a restructured organization, refinanced debts and setting the basis for the redevelopment of the Company under a newly designed business model focusing on managing the “Christian Lacroix” brand through licensing contracts and partnerships. The Brand is celebrating its 30th Anniversary this year and has now expanded into multiple product categories worldwide.
Throughout his career, Nicolas Topiol has developed international expertise in various industries, as well as in acquisitions and direct investments in private companies and has further complemented this expertise with hands-on operational work in the United States and Europe and worldwide business development.
Nicolas Topiol is a member of the Alumni Executive Board of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
This event starts on June 13th at 6:00 PM.
YJP is an exclusive community dedicated to connecting young professionals with current industry leaders to help them become the leaders and entrepreneurs of tomorrow. Our signature roundtable format was specifically designed to foster organic discussions about the future of fashion and luxury, develop new long-term professional relationships, and allow our members to explore potential partnerships and professional opportunities. Join us for gourmet bites, signature cocktails, and strategic networking as we convene with New York's top fashion and luxury leaders.
Questions about this event? Please email email@example.com .