Repetto, the manufacturer of dance shoes and shoes, loses the author of its revival. The brand announced yesterday in a statement the death of its president and owner, Jean-Marc Gaucher, on Tuesday at the age of 70.
“It is with deep sadness that we announce the sudden death of Jean-Marc“. These are the sober and modest words of his wife, Catherine Gaucher, quoted in the Repetto press release.
Described as a “lover of life“, this businessman from Montreuil lived “the American dream” the French way.
From nothing…. to everything
Jean-Marc Gaucher comes from a working class background. His father was a worker, then a cab driver, and his mother was a market gardener. He left school at the age of 15 and did a series of odd jobs.
A great lover of sports and in particular of long-distance running at a high level, he was spotted by the boss of Reebok and in 1983 became the exclusive distributor of the brand’s products in France. Hard-working and daring, he juggled his job in the sneaker company with a parallel job as a sound recordist at TF1.
Luck smiled on him nine years later, when he became CEO of the French subsidiary of the British brand as well as international vice-president.
And then everything accelerated for the young man, who made a name for himself and became a businessman, almost overnight.
In 1999, Jean-Marc Gaucher took over Repetto, which was on the verge of bankruptcy, and became the company’s chairman and CEO. Driven by a strong desire to promote French know-how, he brought a second life to the House, founded in 1947 by the eponymous designer, Rose Repetto.
He quickly made a name for himself in the luxury sector, both in France and abroad. Always looking for new opportunities, he had the idea in the early 2000s to associate his brand with great designers such as Issey Miyake in 2000, Yohji Yamamoto in 2002 and Karl Lagerfeld in 2009, as part of exclusive collaborations, which increased Repetto‘s reputation worldwide.
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