Simoëns, who just left Parisian label Azzaro, after a previous stint at Léonard, is taking charge of style for Paule Ka’s collections on March 12. He takes over from the label’s founder, Serge Cajfinger, whom Xavier Marie had called on immediately after buying Paule Ka, to bring back the essence of the style which has been the label’s hallmark for 30 years.
After Cajfinger’s spell, it is Simoëns’s turn to apply his own touch to Paule Ka, starting with the Spring/Summer 2020 season that will be unveiled next September. How his work will be presented has not been decided yet, though a spokesperson for Paule Ka said that the label would like to make a catwalk come-back in the short or medium term.
Simoëns, 34 and originally from Lille, like Cajfinger, will be in charge of Paule Ka’s Parisian atelier, where he will be able to articulate his keen feeling for femininity, another trait he shares with the label’s founder.
“When I bought Paule Ka 18 months ago, I asked Serge Cajfinger, its founder, to help me put this fine label back on the right track, until the celebration of its 30th anniversary. After a year-long search, I’m delighted to have found a creative director with the necessary talent to pursue and make a success of Paule Ka’s revival. With Maxime, we share the vision of an ultra-feminine, glamorous and high-spirited label, deeply inspired by French culture,” said Xavier Marie, himself the label’s CEO, helped since last summer by Deputy General Manager Alain Quillet.
For Simoëns, who in 2016 also launched M.X Paris, a relatively accessible menswear label – despite a high-end positioning – with a store in Paris’s Marais district, the new role means shifting from a couture label like Azzaro to a premium one like Paule Ka: “I found this label’s identity attractive for the possibility it affords of following contemporary women in all their diversity and multiple facets, creating a wardrobe that mirrors their complexity. A wardrobe that is ideal both for professional women and for those searching for glamour and elegance. [Paule Ka’s] atelier in the heart of Paris has for several years been a source of expertise and creativity worthy of a major label, but at affordable prices,” said Simoëns.
The customers of Paule Ka’s 90 monobrand stores and 320 multibrand retailers worldwide will deliver their verdict in early 2020, when the spring/summer collection by Simoëns will be available to the general public.