Wednesday, June 24, 2020Mood notes

The Barbara Gould Saga, by Jean-Claude Le Joliff

Jean-Claude Le Joliff

The saga of old brands is a captivating exercise, often difficult because little is recorded and even less accessible. When you’re lucky enough to have a brand you’ve worked for, things become a little easier if you’ve spent enough time working for it. That’s the case for me with Barbara Gould.

Reading time
~ 2 minutes

People often say to me: but why do you bother with this old stuff? Simply because it’s nice, and I like it, but also because statements such as “who has no past has no future” or “to innovate is to make a creative synthesis of the best state of the art” (as long as you know the state of the art) remain true.

As a young “cosmetician”, I exercised my modest talents for this brand within the Bourjois organization in which Chanel was still almost exclusively a perfumery brand. The French cosmetic landscape at the time was on all levels, technical, commercial and marketing, very different from today’s one. But that didn’t prevent brands from showing an often intense creativity to feed a market that wasn’t yet dominated by advertising, industry giants and regulations that had become nitpicking. So when James Bennett published his saga on the American part of Barbara Gould, it prompted me to do the same for the European part. Indeed, this brand has had two facets, one on each side of the Atlantic. Now that it has passed into the bosom of a different organization where it continues to live through probably difficult days, it remembers …

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