Investment fund buys majority stake in Joie, Equipment and Current/Elliott

TA Associates have invested in Joie, Equipment and Current/Elliott. The American investment fund bought a majority stake in Zadig & Voltaire last year and has now acquired a 60% stake in Dutch, the mother-company of the three brands.

“The new contemporary luxury segment has become an incredibly important revenue driver for both premium apparel companies and for retailers focused on this space,” said Jennifer M. Mulloy, a Managing Director at TA Associates who will also join the company’s Board of Directors. “We believe the contemporary niche represents an attractive opportunity for investment in the current economic environment, providing a great balance of design, quality and price, and that Dutch is well positioned to continue benefiting from these trends in the coming years.” Dutch has seen a 30% growth rate in the past 5 years since its new owner took over. The investment marks the group’s third venture into the fashion industry to date, after Cath Kidston and Zadig & Voltaire.

Mary Katrantzou for Current/Elliott capsule collection, Spring 2013.
Serge Azria, CEO and Creative Director at Dutch, will retain his position and will work closely with the new owners. Dutch’s three brands are sold in 75 countries and are available at 2000 points of sale, mainly in department stores (Saks, Barney’s, Neiman Marcus, Harvey Nichols etc.). Dutch has a retail network of three Joie stores and three Equipment stores and the next big project for the brand is work on developing its international retail network.

An Equipment store in New York
The Dutch group porftolio was constructed around the Joie brand, which was created in 2001 by Joie Rucker. The brand was bought from the founder in 2007 and now boasts three stores in the USA. Joie is to show for the first time at New York Fashion Week in February.

In 2008, Azria added California-based Current/Elliot to the Dutch portfolio, after meeting the brand’s founders Emily Current and Meritt Elliot. The creative duo left the brand in 2012 to pursue other projects.

Equipment was created in the 1970’s by Christian Restoin, otherwise known as Mr. Carine Roitfeld. The brand has experienced great success thanks to its iconic boyfriend shirt. Despite the brands “cult” status, several bad investments meant the brand lay dormant from the 1980’s until Serge Azria brought it back to life in 2010. In 2012, Equipment launched menswear and a cashmere collection, showcased at the Capsule tradeshow in Paris and New York, both of which proved to be huge success.

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