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EXCLUSIVE: Dior Confirms Nicolas Baretzki Hire

Dior has named Nicolas Baretzki its deputy managing director in charge of commercial activities, effective April 2.

This confirms a WWD report on Dec. 6 that Baretzki, previously chief executive officer of Montblanc, would join the French fashion house in a senior management role in early 2024.

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In a statement shared exclusively with WWD, Dior said Baretzki would be responsible for retail performance, the Dior Academy, wholesale and hospitality, and retail development. In addition, he will be in charge, jointly with Olivier Bialobos, of the management of digital and omnichannel, plus client development.

Baretzki’s role is a new one, reporting to Charles Delapalme, managing director of Christian Dior Couture. Baretzki also joins Dior’s executive committee, and all presidents from Dior’s various geographical regions will report to him.

“His strong managerial experience and expertise in the luxury sector will be great assets in continuing to support Dior’s future growth,” Delapalme said.

Backstage at Dior Fall 2024 Ready-to-Wear Collection at Paris Fashion Week
Backstage at Dior’s fall 2024 show during Paris Fashion Week.

Baretzki’s arrival represents the latest management fortification under Delphine Arnault, who arrived as chairman and CEO of Christian Dior Couture roughly one year ago.

Bialobos, Dior’s longtime communications chief, was promoted last March to deputy managing director in charge of global communication and image, as reported.

Baretzki’s appointment also reflects that today’s biggest luxury players can now attract CEO-level talents without having to anoint them with that title. The scale of today’s most successful brands means that executives who managed smaller houses can now exert an impact on multibillion-euro businesses, and accrue new skills in more complex corporate environments.

A graduate of École des hautes études commerciales in Paris, colloquially known as HEC, Baretzki spent his entire career at Swiss luxury group Compagnie Financière Richemont, parent of brands including Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Chloé and Dunhill.

At the management helm of Hamburg-based Montblanc since 2017, Baretzki’s crowning achievement was the 2022 opening of Montblanc Haus, a brand temple housing elements of a museum, art gallery, hall of fame and school in a sleek black edifice stamped with the German brand’s famous snowcap emblem. (The building’s design is an homage to historic pen packaging.)

During his tenure Baretzki also forged a collaboration with Maison Kitsuné, tapped French soccer legend Zinédine Zidane as a brand ambassador, and unveiled a hotel-like flagship at 152 Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris.

“We really wanted to deepen our retail experience by taking inspiration from the way in which luxury boutique hotels today offer such a multifaceted, immersive universe,” he told WWD at the time.

Baretzki had been executive vice president, sales of Montblanc, since 2013. He was with Jaeger-LeCoultre as international sales director for 12 years, and earlier worked at Cartier in various marketing and general management roles for eight years.

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