License Global speaks with Sébastien Vercruysse, licensing manager, Brigitte Bardot, about plans for the brand approach to licensing ahead of France Licensing Day.

Ian Hart, Senior Digital Editor U.K. & EMEA

April 2, 2024

5 Min Read
Brigitte Bardot x Bain bikini
Brigitte Bardot x Bain bikiniBrigitte Bardot

License Global: Tell me a little about your background and how you got into the licensing industry. 

Sébastien Vercruysse: I joined V2D Lingerie, a family group in the north of France, in 2007 to join the collection creation team. It was in 2016 that the Brigitte Bardot adventure began, with the development, by V2D, of the Brigitte Bardot license in lingerie and bathing.  

Building on the success of these new collections, in 2020, the famous actress entrusted her master license to the family group, which then created the company, Family Trademark TLM, to manage the rights to the Brigitte Bardot brand around the world. This is how I went from lingerie collection manager to licensing manager, discovering the exciting world of the licensing industry. 

Sébastien Vercruysse, Brigitte Bardot

How would you describe the fashion and lifestyle brand licensing landscape in France at the moment? 

The brand licensing landscape in France is dynamic and diverse. More and more renowned brands are exploring creative licensing partnerships in order to expand their market positioning, ranging from ready-to-wear to accessories or even the home world. Some of them are opting for strategic collaborations with artists or fictional characters. Others get closer to celebrities, like the one we represent, with the aim of taking advantage of their notoriety and associating their products with the values they represent. 

Related:The France Licensing Landscape

Looking further afield in Europe, what do you think are the current trends in consumer demand? 

Consumers are increasingly looking for exclusive and authentic offerings. The numerous possibilities offered by the license make it possible to build an offer better in line with new customer expectations. For example, environmental responsibility and ethics are becoming major concerns for consumers who are attracted to committed licenses. We are, therefore, quite naturally witnessing a balance being created between innovation/modernity and authenticity/tradition, which guides the licensing landscape at the European level. 

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Looking specifically at the Brigitte Bardot brand, what are the challenges and benefits of an intellectual property based on a person, as opposed to, for example, a movie, a toy or a sports team? 

The very values of the Brigitte Bardot brand are authenticity, beauty, audacity and harmony; this translates into an offer of quality products, respectful of the environment, nature and animals.  

Responsible collaborations seem obvious and are perfectly in line with consumers’ growing interest in products reflecting ethical and sustainable values. Of course, an intellectual property based on an icon as authentic and divisive as Madame Bardot represents an everyday challenge.  

Related:France Licensing Day 2024 Opens for Registration

What are the main collaborations that have defined Brigitte Bardot’s approach to licensing? 

A true icon, Brigitte Bardot is at the origin of numerous fashion trends, launched throughout her career as a dancer, singer or actress … the bikini, the Vichy print and even the sailor top are among them. It is therefore natural that many collaborations have focused on the fashion world made up of several categories such as raffia ballerinas with Bagllerina Paris, acetate sunglasses with François Pinton or even earrings with Francine Bramli Paris.  

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But the main collaboration was that of lingerie and swimwear, the license of which has continued to develop over the last eight years. The ready-to-wear category is also highlighted in prestigious collaborations with the Swedish label, Limitato, or with the famous Californian influencer and fashion designer, Anine Bing. These capsule collections highlight famous portraits of Brigitte Bardot photographed by Terry O’Neill. Launched in September 2023, the ready-to-wear license joins this universe and expresses all the facets of fashion icon, Brigitte Bardot. 

When entering into new licensing deals, how do you ensure you balance protecting Brigitte’s legacy while providing consumers with new and exciting products? 

The Brigitte Bardot brand is inspired by its public years: ’50s, ’60s and ’70s and embodies strong values that are still very current: a positive sensuality that is at once authentic, daring and resolutely French.  

The formal ban on the use of animal materials to respect the legacy of Madame Bardot’s fight for animal protection is inevitable. Brigitte Bardot’s products are imbued with her beauty, borrowing from the exciting universe of the multifaceted icon of dancer, singer, actress and fashion muse without forgetting her “joie de vivre.” 

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You are exhibiting at France Licensing Day in Paris in June. What are your goals and what do you hope to get out of this event? 

We are proud to exhibit at France Licensing Day for the second year, among the many licensing players. Indeed, the world of “celebrity” licenses only represents 10% of the overall landscape and our presence at this show is an opportunity for us to embody this beautiful but exciting minority world.  

We hope to meet new partners in categories complementary to the universe of our current licenses and collaborations, such as gaming, home decoration or luggage and always with absolute respect for the environment, nature and animals. It will also be an opportunity for us to celebrate Madame Bardot’s 90th birthday on Sept. 28; an event that promises to make the brand shine. 

Brigitte Bardot is exhibiting at France Licensing Day and Licensing International Awards 2024, which returns to Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris in Paris, France, on June 27. Registration is now open

About the Author(s)

Ian Hart

Senior Digital Editor U.K. & EMEA, License Global

Ian joined the License Global editorial team in May 2022 as digital editor for the U.K. and EMEA, becoming Senior Digital Editor in April 2023.

Ian is a huge fan of sports and entertainment brands and, as a father, toys and kids' brands are a large part of his life!

He has been at Informa (formerly UBM) since 2018, where he was previously the editor of SHP, a B2B digital publication aimed at health & safety professionals.

Ian studied journalism at university before spending seven years in online fantasy gaming. Prior to moving to Informa, Ian worked in B2B trade print media, in the automotive sector, working on various publications aimed at independent automotive technicians and parts distributors.

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