Mergers and Acquisitions

Gruppo Florence Adds Jersey Specialist to Its Portfolio

Gruppo Florence Adds Jersey Specialist to Its Portfolio

MILAN — Gruppo Florence is continuing its brisk M&A activity, adding the 13th fashion manufacturing company to its roster.The group, established in October 2020 to develop a platform supplying high-quality, Made in Italy products to major luxury fashion brands, is now taking control of Barbetta, a Lecce, Italy-based business that specializes in jersey production.
Founded in 1973 by Luciano Barbetta and his wife Ileana, the company operates as a network of 10 facilities relying on around 40 workshops, directly employing 180 people but involving around 800 workers. In 2021, it posted sales of 60 million euros.
As is customary for Gruppo Florence’s acquisitions, the founding family has agreed to maintain minority ownership of the company they run.

“I am pleased that the Barbetta family has joined the shareholders of Gruppo Florence and content to welcome on board a company from the Apulia region, known for its luxury artisanship,” said Francesco Trapani, Gruppo Florence president and chairman of VAM Investments.

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Attila Kiss, the group’s chief executive officer, touted Barbetta’s ties with the territory and responsibility toward its workforce as among the jersey manufacturer’s winning assets.
“We’re happy to bring our employees within an innovative context, focused on improving services and preserving our heritage,” said Luciano Barbetta, the firm’s president and founder. “For our family, the company represents an asset of the territory and we, entrepreneurs, are tasked with safeguarding it with the goal of securing it a future and hand it over to next generations,” he added.
In the wake of the latest M&A activities, Gruppo Florence, which is controlled by private equity fund VAM Investments, Fondo Italiano d’Investimento and Italmobiliare, owns controlling shares of 13 companies, including Metaphor, which produces high-end knitwear; informal outerwear manufacturers Emmegi and Giuntini; jersey specialist Manifatture Cesari; Ciemmeci, a company specialized in the production of leather and fur pieces; scarves and shawls specialist Antica Valserchio, and knitwear firm Mely’s.
As reported, last month Gruppo Florence acquired majority stakes in Bergamo, Italy-based ready-to-wear manufacturer Cam; Confezioni Elledue, a specialist in casual outerwear based in Tuscany; Turin-based Frediani, which produces luxury outerwear; Parmamoda, which manufactures rtw, and Pigolotti, a family-run specialist in jerseys combined with precious textiles such as cashmere and silk.

Furla Owners Said to Be Considering Sale of Stake

Furla Owners Said to Be Considering Sale of Stake

MILAN — Furla’s owners are considering a sale of a stake in the Italian accessories company, according to market sources.Sources say Furla has tapped Lazard as its adviser and a dossier is circulating in Milan. It is also understood that former Valentino chief executive officer Stefano Sassi is consulting with Furla on a potential deal.
As reported, Sassi most recently worked with Etro and is said to have helped the Italian fashion brand achieve the sale of a 60 percent stake to private equity giant L Catterton last year, in a deal valued at 500 million euros. The executive joined Valentino in 2006 and was instrumental in leading and growing the company through the acquisition in 2012 by Mayhoola.

Furla had no comment on the speculation and a representative for Lazard could not be reached.

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“Obviously, an injection of capital is always useful and we know that many private equity funds are flush with cash now, but at Furla, I believe there is an issue of succession,” said a source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
In 2016, owner Giovanna Furlanetto set in motion plans to take Furla public, but this project never materialized. “She changed her mind,” said the source, and “now is not the time to reconsider this decision.” Furla was founded in Bologna in 1927 by Aldo Furlanetto, Giovanna’s father. Her son Giuseppe Costato, who is one of the owners, is not involved in the company’s management.
“These are early days, she is testing the market. It is not clear whether she is seeking an industrial partner or merely someone to help finance the company’s development to be competitive in a crowded accessories arena. In any case, the brand’s appeal remains strong,” believes the source. Furla has a strong and expansive network of stores globally, with a solid business in Europe and growth potential in Asia-Pacific. Japan has historically been the company’s main single market.
In 2016, TIP Tamburi Investment Partners invested 15 million euros to issue a convertible loan for a capital increase, which would have been automatically swapped into Furla shares at an initial public offering that was supposed to happen within 2018 but never took place. At that time, TIP also committed to underwrite an additional 15 million euros on the day of the listing at the same economic conditions offered to the market. A further quota of shares would have been allotted to TIP and sources estimated another 15 million to 30 million euros would have been paid then. TIP, which included the Marzotto, Loro Piana and Ferragamo families among its investors, has over the years invested in Remo Ruffini’s holding company, Ruffini Partecipazioni, indirectly buying a stake in Moncler, Hugo Boss and Ferrari.
Furla is helmed by chief executive officer Mauro Sabatini, who in January last year succeeded Alberto Camerlengo, named executive president of the board. Sabatini leverages in-depth knowledge of both Furla and the leather goods industry. For more than 18 years, he was CEO of Effeuno, a leather goods manufacturing company he founded in Tuscany and Furla’s supplier and longtime partner.
In 2018, Furla took control of Effeuno, which is based in Tavarnelle Val di Pesa, a 40-minute drive from Florence. At the time, Effeuno already exclusively produced Furla’s accessories, employing more than 100 workers and producing 2 million bags and small leather goods a year. The takeover was part of Furla’s strategy to invest in Italy and to strengthen the group’s supply chain, boosting production.

As per the latest figures available, Furla group sales in 2019 totaled 502 million euros.

Mauro Sabatini and Giovanna Furlanetto
courtesy image

Lanvin Group Details Road Map to an IPO – and Tripling in Size by 2025

Lanvin Group Details Road Map to an IPO – and Tripling in Size by 2025

On the road to an initial public offering later this year, Lanvin Group touted itself Wednesday as “the next industry champion” representing “the next generation of luxury.”During a webinar to discuss its SPAC route to Wall Street following a merger with Primavera Capital Acquisition Corp., which was unveiled late on Tuesday, Lanvin Group executives trumpeted its “significant growth prospects” and its ability to nurture and reinvigorate heritage brands.
David Chan, executive president and co-chief operating officer of Lanvin Group, said revenues are projected to almost triple to 989 million euros by 2025 from 333 million euros last year, fueled primarily by the fizzy growth regions of North America and Asia. China’s share of Lanvin Group sales is expected to double to 28 percent by 2025.

Future acquisitions are meant to contribute 114 million euros to coffers by 2025, and potential targets are extremely varied.

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“We are very open-minded,” Chan said, rattling off such possibilities as a “newer” designer label, an accessories or leather goods firm, a manufacturer or fabric developer, digital infrastructure or a consumer-led digital firm.
“Fashion is from A to Z — it’s an ecosystem,” echoed Joann Cheng, chairman and chief executive officer of Lanvin Group. “We’re not only focused on the heritage brands…and not only on majority stakes.”
Meanwhile, the group is expected to reach profitability by 2024. Its operating loss stood at 130 million euros in its pro-forma 2020 tallies.
The Lanvin brand, which recently welcomed Theory executive Siddhartha Shukla as deputy general manager, was the standout performer last year, with revenues in the first nine months of 2021 vaulting 107 percent versus the same period in 2020, with North America rocketing ahead 283 percent.

Lanvin, fall 2022
Courtesy of Lanvin

During a slick presentation of flashing runway clips and even singer Adele emoting in a music video, Chan noted that Lanvin ended 2021 with only 27 stores globally — a fraction of the footprint of Europe’s flagship luxury players, which typically operate between 300 and 400 boutiques worldwide.
Category expansion is a growth path for brands in its existing portfolio, with Chan describing healthy progress made in building a leather goods and sneaker business at Lanvin, and for extending Austrian hosiery expert Wolford into leisure and activewear categories. The luxury company is also home to the Sergio Rossi, St. John and Caruso brands.
He also described vast potential for expansion in online channels, noting that Lanvin Group brands only recently entered the JD.com and Farfetch platforms.
Wolford also had a good year, with revenues advancing 63 percent in Greater China and 50 percent in North America.
Asked about time lines for the listing on the New York Stock Exchange, Chan said an audit needs to be completed, and the F-4 registration form should be filed in April. Then the group has to wait for Securities and Exchange Commission regulatory approval. “We’re hoping we can get everything wrapped up by [the third quarter] of this year,” he said.
The merger deal gave Lanvin Group a pro-forma enterprise value of $1.5 billion, with a combined pro-forma equity value of up to $1.9 billion, the companies said. The fashion house will ultimately trade under the symbol “LANV.”  

As part of the deal, Lanvin Group shareholders will roll their shares in the group into the combined venture, giving them a roughly 65 percent stake altogether, as reported. Lanvin Group will receive proceeds of up to $544 million and plans to use the money “for potential future acquisitions that complement its luxury fashion ecosystem.”
“It’s not a cash-out event for anybody,” Chan stressed on Wednesday.
SPAC shareholders have a 28 percent stake of the pro-forma ownership at closing, with FPA investors holding 5 percent.
Cheng said Lanvin Group executives first met Primavera chairman, CEO, and chief financial officer Max Chen in May 2021, and they saw an opportunity to tap into its “deep insights on consumer segments accumulated in Asia and globally,” and a partner that shared its vision of “innovation and digitalization.”
As for the choice of exchange for the listing, she said: “New York is not only a financial hub, it’s also a fashion city.”
For his part, Chen lauded the special-purpose acquisition company as a vehicle to an IPO. “If done with the right partner, and structured properly, SPACs can be a very bespoke and streamlined way for world-class companies to go public, and I think Lanvin Group is a great example.”
He noted that Primavera is also working with its partner ABCI to sponsor a SPAC to be listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
Previously known as Fosun Fashion Group, the firm changed its name in October, when Lanvin Group scored a valuation of better than $1 billion with investments from Japan’s Itochu Corp., Chinese footwear maker Stella International and private equity player Xizhi Capital.
SEE ALSO:
The Lanvin Group Is Born – With New Investors
Lanvin Nabs Theory Executive to Ignite Global Growth
Lanvin’s Chinese Parent Is the New Owner of Sergio Rossi

Nice Footwear Acquires Premium Handbag Manufacturer

Nice Footwear Acquires Premium Handbag Manufacturer

MILAN — Nice is growing beyond just shoes.The Italian shoemaker, which went public last November on the Euronext Growth Milan, the segment of the Milan Bourse dedicated to small and medium-sized companies, said Wednesday that it has acquired an 80 percent stake in Emmegi Srl, a Padua, Italy-based manufacturer of women’s handbags positioned in the premium segment, for 480,000 euros.
Nice Footwear described the acquisition as a further step to dip its toes into luxury following the takeover last July of Favaro Manifattura Calzaturiera, a Veneto-based luxury footwear manufacturer.
As part of the deal Nice Footwear and Emmegi are entitled to exercise their “call option” and “put option,” respectively. In particular, the shoemaker could increase its shareholding as high as 100 percent within the next three years.

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The market rewarded the shoemaker for the acquisition as shares traded up 1.60 percent to 12.70 euros at the end of trading.
Founded in 1977 in Maserà di Padova, in the Veneto region, a manufacturing hub, known for its footwear, leather goods and knitwear expertise, Emmegi had 2020 revenues of 1.8 million euros, the most recent figures available.
“The acquisition falls within our diversification strategy aimed at completing our product offering,” Bruno Conterno, chief executive officer of Nice Footwear, told WWD. “We’re aiming to integrate [Emmegi’s] production processes with Favaro’s, as they share the same positioning,” he added.

Inside the Emmegi manufacturing plant.
Courtesy of Emmegi

Established by the entrepreneur in 2004, the Vicenza, Italy-based Nice Footwear designs and produces shoes for a range of firms, as well as for several in-house and licensed brands. They include ’80s soccer and basketball label Kronos, as well as Avirex, Ellesse, Conte of Florence, Lotto, whose collections are designed, manufactured and distributed under license, and G-Star Raw, for which the company serves as distributing partner. The company distributes its collections from two showrooms, both opened in 2019, which are located on Milan’s Via Montenapoleone and in Hong Kong.
Despite the pandemic, the company has had a busy 2021.
“As in all crises and critical contexts, there are always opportunities to exploit,” Conterno said. “Our technological backbone and R&D approach have secured a competitive advantage.”
Nice Footwear produces all its shoe collections in Chinese factories, which are coordinated by a local subsidiary that opened in 2020. At the company’s headquarters in Vicenza, the footwear firm develops the designs through the use of patented 3D software. This, used together with virtual reality, offers precise renderings to clients.
Backing two Italy-based manufacturers, the company is aiming to establish a premium accessories pole in the northeastern Veneto region. “In addition to the financial and business value of the operations, it’s a step toward the preservation of Made in Italy, in the country and in the [Veneto] area, which could be undermined by the lack of size or of financial muscles,” Conterno said.
To this end, he didn’t rule out taking over other businesses with manufacturing prowess. Nice Footwear is consolidating its structure and, Conterno said, aiming to re-shore part of its production from Asia, especially for products in the high-end segment.

“We remain committed to being a global enterprise with an Italian DNA…but there’s room for partial re-shoring,” he said.

Gieves & Hawkes Faces Permanent Closure Over Shandong Ruyi Debt Crisis

Gieves & Hawkes Faces Permanent Closure Over Shandong Ruyi Debt Crisis

LONDON — Storied Savile Row tailor Gieves & Hawkes may be shut permanently over its Chinese parent company’s debt if a buyer fails to show up, alongside its sister brand Kent & Curwen.The two brands, along with men’s wear brand Cerruti, are all owned by Trinity Ltd., a Chinese company sold by the Hong Kong-based sourcing giant Fung Group in 2017 to the $4 billion debt-laden Chinese fashion manufacturing giant Shandong Ruyi Technology Group, which is also the owner of SMCP, Aquascutum and Lycra.
The Times first reported that a restructuring firm has been called in as liquidators seek a buyer, citing a source that “there had been a fruitless attempt to find another Chinese business with links to Shandong Ruyi that could take over the tailoring companies.”

The winding-up order follows a failed attempt by Trinity to appeal against creditors. There will be a vote in Hong Kong on Nov. 4 to determine the fate of the brands.

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If no buyer is found, the British tailor is in danger of closing after 250 years of trading. The brand, loved by British royalty, has had a store at 1 Savile Row since 1913 and 58 shops in 25 cities worldwide.
Meanwhile, the other British brand under the Shandong Ruyi umbrella, Aquascutum, has pulled out of Britain after being denied further funding from Ruyi.

Exterior of Gieves & Hawkes bespoke men’s tailor and men’s wear shop at No. 1 Savile Row in London.
Tim Jenkins

Across the English Channel, Shandong Ruyi last month failed to redeem bonds in the company, issued in September 2018, worth 250 million euros, causing concerns that SMCP, the owner of Sandro, Maje, Claudie Pierlot and De Fursac, could fall into the hands of creditors. Owners of the bonds include asset manager BlackRock and private equity firm Carlyle. They can stake a claim to a 37 percent share in SMCP.
On Oct. 7, European TopSoho, a unit of Shandong Ruyi, which has a 53 percent stake in SMCP, launched legal proceedings against bondholders it alleged were seeking to take control of SMCP at a low price.
Shandong Ruyi also failed to seal its planned acquisition of Bally and cut back at Cerruti and other international brands, and has already defaulted on several investments, causing Israeli men’s wear brand Bagir and Japanese apparel firm Renown to file for bankruptcy protection last year.
Faced with mounting debts, Moody’s has downgraded Ruyi’s credit rating several times since late 2019. The struggling group lost its key backer in June 2020. The state-owned Jining City Urban Construction Investment Co. Ltd., which promised Ruyi Group a 3.5 billion renminbi, or $495 million, investment last year, walked away in the end. The investment was supposed to provide a much needed cash injection and an endorsement from the local government.
In an interview with the local press around that time, Yafu Qiu, chairman of the company, said Ruyi no longer wants to be China’s LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and that the group will focus on restructuring its portfolio, high-tech fabrics, automated production and fashion brand management to improve its profitability, instead of global acquisitions.
Related:
SMCP’s Controlling Shareholder Defaults on Bond
Ruyi Group $495M State-owned Investment Falls Through

Potential Purchasers Circle Reebok as Deadline Approaches

Potential Purchasers Circle Reebok as Deadline Approaches

Who’s in, who’s out? That’s the question swirling around potential purchasers of the Reebok brand.
As the Aug. 2 deadline approaches for second-round bids to be submitted, speculation is rampant about who might buy the sports brand from Adidas, its German parent company. As reported, at the end of last year, Adidas put the brand up for sale and said it hopes to complete a deal by the end of this year.
One front-runner from the beginning has been Authentic Brands Group, the brand management firm headed by Jamie Salter that has made most of the high-profile deals in the U.S. over the last few years, including Barneys New York, Forever 21, Brooks Brothers, Sports Illustrated and Eddie Bauer.

On Friday, reports surfaced that ABG had bowed out, but some observers were skeptical. “It seems very strange,” said one source. “ABG doesn’t drop out of anything if they really want something.”
Salter has made no secret of his interest in Reebok since his company controls the intellectual property of Shaquille O’Neal, who was an ambassador for the brand during his playing days in the 1990s. ABG could not be reached for comment Friday and is in a quiet period since it has filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission to go public this summer.
Whether ABG submits a bid for Reebok next month remains to be seen, but another name has surfaced as a highly interested party: WHP Global. The owner of the Joseph Abboud, Anne Klein and Toys “R” Us labels was created two years ago and is headed by Yehuda Shmidman. Since its founding, WHP has received $350 million in equity commitments from funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management. A WHP spokesperson declined to comment.

In addition to WHP, a number of private equity firms are also on the short list to buy Reebok, according to sources: Advent International, Cerberus Capital Management, CVC Capital Partners and Sycamore Partners.
Adidas bought Reebok for $3.8 billion in 2006 and the price tag now is expected to be around $2.4 billion. In its most recent earnings release on May 7, Adidas only said it has incurred costs of 60 million euros related to the intended divestiture of Reebok in the first quarter, and is reporting all income and expenses for the brand as discontinued operations. However, Harm Ohlmeyer, chief financial officer of Adidas, said Reebok “experienced a sustainable business recovery in Q1, with net sales up double digits backed by a strong order book going into 2021.”
Matt O’Toole, president of Reebok, told WWD in May that the sale process is a long one and Adidas is still narrowing down the field of potential purchasers but is still on track to complete the transaction by yearend.

BREAKING: Richemont Is Acquiring Delvaux

BREAKING: Richemont Is Acquiring Delvaux

Further extending its holdings beyond hard luxury, Compagnie Financière Richemont is to acquire elite Belgian leather goods firm Delvaux from its Chinese owners.
Richemont said it purchased 100 percent of Delvaux “in a private transaction” and did not name the seller: First Heritage Brands, a vehicle of Hong Kong billionaire brothers Victor and William Fung, who have already exited their other European fashion investments, Sonia Rykiel and the shoemaker Robert Clergerie.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
In a statement released after the close of trading on the SIX Swiss Exchange, Richemont said it would “position Delvaux for its next stage of development by enabling Delvaux to leverage the group’s global presence and digital capabilities, to develop its omnichannel opportunities and customer engagement.”

Philippe Fortunato, chief executive officer of Richemont’s fashion and accessories maisons, lauded Delvaux’s “strong heritage, distinctive savoir-faire and exceptional manufacturing capabilities.”
“The maison’s rich archives and creative momentum over the last 10 years represent a solid foundation from which to grow the company for the long term, strengthening Richemont’s presence at the pinnacle of the leather goods category,” he added.
Founded in 1829, Delvaux is considered the oldest luxury leather goods house in the world, the first to file a patent for leather handbags in 1908, and one of the first luxury goods firms to introduce seasonality into its collections in the 1930s. It has been an official supplier to the Belgian royal court since 1883, and boasts a meticulous archive of more than 3,000 styles, all patented.

In a statement, Richemont said the Delvaux acquisition would have “no material financial impact on Richemont’s consolidated net assets or operating result” for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2022, noting that Delvaux’s results would be grouped under the “other business” area.
First Heritage Brands took a majority stake in Delvaux in 2011 with Singaporean state investment company Temasek, and grew sales from 18 million euros up to about 120 million euros, according to market sources.
The brand pushed into China, South Korea and Japan, and opened flagships on New York’s Fifth Avenue, Bond Street in London and in the Palazzo Reina in Milan, as well as a pop-up on the Rue Saint-Honoré in Paris, with plans for a permanent store there. The proportion of sales generated outside of Belgium increased from 3 percent to about 85 percent, while the store network increased from 10 to 50 under the ownership of First Heritage Brands.
The Delvaux disposal represents one of the last remaining fashion assets connected to Fung Group, the Hong Kong-based sourcing giant. In 2017, it sold its stake in struggling men’s wear retail unit Trinity — which includes Gieves & Hawkes, Kent & Curwen and Cerruti 1881 — to Shandong Ruyi.
Over the years, the sprawl of the Li & Fung empire started taking its toll, with CEO Spencer Fung explaining to investors not long after he took over the reins of the business that he realized the company had many business divisions but none that were particularly exceptional. He soon embarked on streamlining the business into sourcing and logistics. But while the company began pivoting,  supply chain pressures only accelerated and this coincided with the transformation of the retail landscape. Many of Li & Fung’s biggest clients were sunsetting retailers that struggled to adjust as the next generation of DTC and omnichannel retail concepts arrived on the scene.

Meanwhile, its brand management and licensing spin-off Global Brands Group has also been beset with problems. In mid-June, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange-listed group reported that its liabilities exceeded its assets by $899 million. The firm has been aggressively cutting costs and carving off its assets, revealing it would use the proceeds from the recent sale of its Spyder division in South Korea to keep the company operating instead of paying its debts that were past due.
SEE ALSO:
Delvaux Sets up Shop on Rue Saint Honoré in Paris

Richemont Nabs LVMH Veteran to Head Fashion Division

Delvaux’s Quiet Impact

Delvaux Is Up for Sale: Reports

Delvaux Is Up for Sale: Reports

LONDON — Belgian heritage luxury bag-maker Delvaux is looking for a buyer.
The brand’s owner Hong Kong billionaire brothers Victor and William Fung have reached out to potential buyers, and a sale could value the brand at around $500 million to $600 million, Bloomberg reported Monday, citing people with knowledge of the matter.
Sources told WWD that the Fungs were originally trying to sell the brand for $1 billion.
The Fungs took a majority stake in the 192-year-old bag brand via its subsidiary First Heritage Brands in 2011 with Singaporean state investment company Temasek.
The brand has since expanded into Asian markets, including China, South Korea and Japan, and opened flagships on New York’s Fifth Avenue, Bond Street in London and in the Palazzo Reina in Milan, as well as a temporary location on the Rue Saint-Honoré in Paris.

Delvaux has also accelerated its online business by adding e-commerce services to its U.S and European sites since the pandemic walloped consumer markets around the world. The brand works with JD.com to sell online in China.
At the same time, Delvaux has parted ways with its artistic director Christina Zeller, and shed 26 jobs at its Belgian headquarters, as the brand revealed plans to restructure operations in a bid to increase agility.
Delvaux is one of the few remaining fashion assets the Fung family hasn’t offloaded.

In 2017, Shandong Ruyi bought a 51 percent stake in struggling men’s wear retail unit Trinity — which includes Gieves & Hawkes, Kent & Curwen and Cerruti 1881 — from the Fungs.
French e-commerce entrepreneurs Eric and Michael Dayan bought Sonia Rykiel’s assets, which included the global trademark for all products and categories, and 50 years of archives and prototypes, in 2019 from the Paris commercial court. The house went into receivership in April after First Heritage Brands, which bought Sonia Rykiel in 2012, renounced turnaround efforts and abandoned an attempt at the start of this year to find a new investor.
Last July, private equity fund French Legacy Group acquired the storied French shoemaker Robert Clergerie from First Heritage Brands.
Both the Fung Group and Delvaux did not immediately respond to WWD’s requests for comment.
Related:
Delvaux Could Shed 26 Jobs at Belgian Headquarters
Robert Clergerie Has a New Owner: Sources
French E-commerce Entrepreneurs to Buy Sonia Rykiel Assets

Xcel Brands Acquires Logo by Lori Goldstein

Xcel Brands Acquires Logo by Lori Goldstein

Xcel Brands Inc. has expanded its brand portfolio with the acquisition of Logo by Lori Goldstein.
Terms of the deal between Xcel and designer/stylist Lori Goldstein were not revealed. Xcel’s portfolio now has six brands including Isaac Mizrahi, Judith Ripka, Halston, C. Wonder and Longaberger.
Logo by Lori Goldstein, launched in 2009, has been a mainstay on QVC. According to Xcel, Logo by Lori Goldstein has been profitable since its inception and has generated more than $1.5 billion in sales over the course of its history. The brand offers casual women’s wear, outerwear, eyewear, jewelry and activewear. QVC has been its only distribution channel.
“Lori is one of the top brands on QVC and has been for the last ten years,” Robert W. D’Loren, Xcel Brands’ chairman and chief executive officer, told WWD. “She started at QVC almost the same time as Isaac — within months of each others’ arrival. Isaac Mizrahi is one of the leading apparel brands on QVC, and to be a leading apparel brand there, you need to be north of $100 million. Lori has not been far behind.”

D’Loren said the acquisition presents multiple opportunities to expand the Logo by Lori Goldstein business. “Our plan is first to grow her business internationally through QVC affiliates and other interactive television networks around the world,” D’Loren said. “Then we will look to explore extensions into the footwear, handbag, fragrance and home categories.”

Brand collaborations, design upgrades and livestreaming are also on the agenda for Logo by Lori Goldstein.
“We first adopted livestreaming with Longaberger,” a social commerce retailer of artisanal American home goods that Xcel purchased in December 2019.
“We’re now also doing livestreaming with Judith Ripka, and we will add in apparel with Lori as part of that initiative,” D’Loren said. “We have always believed that livestreaming is the future of retail. Customers love getting behind the velvet rope and seeing designers in their homes. It feels more relaxed and more authentic.”
Livestreaming enables shoppers to learn about products by interacting with hosts (often designers and celebrities) who have expert knowledge of the merchandise, and to buy products during the show. Xcel built its own platform for livestreaming, rather than doing it through social media.
Goldstein called her deal with Xcel “a natural partnership, with a common goal to drive robust expansion and bring the Logo brand into its next phase.…It will position us for significant growth and to be a leader across multiple channels of distribution,” Goldstein said. “My inspiration for designing a lifestyle brand coupled with Xcel Brand’s distribution and marketing capabilities and elevated portfolio is a win-win for both parties.”
During her career, Goldstein was a buyer at Fred Segal in Los Angeles. She became an editor at Allure and a contributing editor Vanity Fair, Vogue Italia, Elle USA and W Magazine, and subsequently had many high-profile styling collaborations with leading photographers, designer brands and celebrities including Annie Leibovitz, Steven Meisel, Mario Testino, Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Versace and others.

“She is truly one of the most visionary and most important fashion stylists of our lifetime. Her body of work is extraordinary,” said D’Loren. “I’ve admired her from afar but over the last three or four years we got much closer. She is very committed, very driven, very smart, wildly creative and fun, all at the same time.
“If you look at Lori’s product, she has a sort of whimsical design,” D’Loren added. “She is known for mixing fabrics and patterns in ways unique to her brand. She appeals to a woman 35 to 60 years old, and the line is size inclusive. She has a great tops business, and what we are looking at now is how we can drive a very strong bottoms business, similar to what we did with Isaac.”
D’Loren said Goldstein continues as president and chief creative officer of her brand. “There’s really no change. She just now has a tremendous amount of support and infrastructure under her. Xcel Brands continues to provide brands with the operating and technology platform needed to succeed in a dynamic and complex market.”

Ferrari’s Owner Exor Takes Majority Stakes in Hermès’ Shang Xia

Ferrari’s Owner Exor Takes Majority Stakes in Hermès’ Shang Xia

LONDON –  Exor, the owner of Ferrari and The Economist Group, has invested in Hermès International’s China project Shangxia, the company revealed Wednesday.
Exor will invest around 80 million euros in Shang Xia by the end of 2020 via a reserved capital increase that will result in it becoming the company’s majority shareholder.  Hermès will remain as an important shareholder alongside Exor and founder Jiang Qiong Er.
The company said with this agreement, Shang Xia will benefit from the support of two family-owned companies, one with French roots and one with Italian roots, both with a common culture of excellence and entrepreneurship.
Axel Dumas, executive chairman of Hermès, said: “We are proud of how far Shang Xia has come in the last 10 years, demonstrating our confidence in the brand’s unique model and original proposal.

“With Exor, we share a long family and entrepreneurial culture on which we will be able to build Shang Xia’s new successes,” he added.
Shang Xia flagship store in Chengdu  Ai Qing/ Courtesy

John Elkann, Exor’s chairman and chief executive officer, said, “We’re delighted to be able to share with Shang Xia our experience of developing global luxury brands as well as the entrepreneurial spirit we bring to all our companies. Shang Xia represents a unique opportunity to build the first global luxury lifestyle brand of genuine Chinese heritage.

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“With Hermès, we look forward to accompanying Qiong Er in the years ahead, supporting her in building a great company with the ambition to increase the appreciation of the contemporary creativity and traditional culture of China to a growing client base worldwide,” he added.
Exor is one of Europe’s largest diversified holding companies and is controlled by the Agnelli family. Its portfolio is principally made up of companies in which Exor is a leading shareholder: Ferrari, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, PartnerRe, CNH Industrial, Juventus FC, The Economist Group and GEDI Gruppo Editoriale.
Shang Xia founder Qiong Er said “Within just a decade, Shang Xia has managed to position itself as one of the first Chinese brands on the international luxury stage. This has been achieved thanks to the consistent commitment of Hermes all along. As founder of Shang Xia, Exor joining our initial duo is a thrill as it will enable Shang Xia to pursue our dreams and ambition with more power than ever.”
Founded in 2010, as a major step for a Western brand in China, unveiling a new brand created specifically for one of the world’s fastest-growing luxury markets, Shang Xia operates stores in Shanghai, where it was founded, and in Beijing, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Shenzhen and Paris. Next year will see new stores open in Singapore and Taipei.
Jiang Qiong Er, founder, ceo and artistic director of Shang Xia  Courtesy

Meaning “up-down” in Chinese, Qiong Er told WWD that she drew inspiration from Chinese philosophy for Shang Xia. “It is the meeting of the opposites, as in the Yi Ching ‘up and down,’ the ying and the yang, the woman and the man, the sky and the earth,” she said.
Patrick Thomas, chairman of Shang Xia, and ceo of Hermès at that time, said Hermès is taking it slow with the new brand. After establishing a presence in China, Shang Xia opened its first international outpost in Paris in 2013.

Earlier this year, as it marks 10 years in business, the brand said it is making a major retail push in China and launching a capsule collection for younger clients.
Thomas said the brand was coming off a banner year, with sales in China — which accounts for 90 percent of its revenues — up 60 percent in 2019, but noted that it was a marginal contributor to the French luxury house’s revenues of 6.9 billion euros last year.
His outlook for 2020 was gloomy, in line with the global luxury sector, but Thomas and Jiang were upbeat about the medium-term prospects for the label, which is reaching a new stage of maturity at a time when Chinese domestic consumption is set to expand as a result of government policies to prop up local spending, and a forecast decline in international travel due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Lan Yue woven leather handbag by Shang Xia  CHENMAN/ Courtesy

“We have very ambitious plans this year to develop Shang Xia, despite COVID-19,” said Jiang. “Today, a luxury brand rooted in Chinese culture has great potential in China, in Asia, and potentially worldwide.”
Thomas acknowledged the brand had a bumpy start, as it took a long time to track down craftsmen who still possess traditional skills, many of which were lost during China’s Cultural Revolution. “I told [Qiong Er], ‘Don’t worry about the bottom line. Just make sure you execute the project as perfectly as possible,’” he said.
“A real luxury brand is not about getting rich,” Jiang concurred. “It requires a lot of time. It’s like architecture: if you want to build a skyscraper, you need to dig a foundation that is almost as deep. It took Shang Xia 10 years to build the foundation of the brand. We faced a lot of challenges, but we’re very happy with the result.”
Related:
Meet the Shuneaker, as the ‘Chinese Hermès’ Courts Young Consumers
Hermès Unveils Chinese Luxury Brand
Shang Xia Sets Up Shop in Paris

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