Jun 23, 2015
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Castanea Partners has acquired a minority interest in Proenza Schouler

Jun 23, 2015

Proenza Schouler has found a new investor: Castanea Partners, an investment firm already present in the fashion, accessories and jewellery sector, which should allow the New York ready-to-wear womenswear label to accelerate its expansion. Founded in 2002 by Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, the latter is considered to be one the most prominent brands in New York at the moment.

Proenza Schouler, fall/winter 2015-16 - © PixelFormula

For months now, rumours has been swirling about the company, held since by 2011 by the CEO of Theory, Andrew Rosen, with other investors, and the possibility of half it being handed over. The house has confirmed the information but has not provided any further details on the amount of the transaction or Castanea Partners's exact role.

In a press release, Castanea Partners said that it has acquired a minority interest in Proenza Schouler, the New York-based luxury fashion brand, joining existing investors, meaning the investors led by Andrew Rosen, with the other 50% still under ownership of the brand's two founding designers.

According to the estimates cited over the past few months, the company in its entirety 85 million dollars (76 million euros).

In line with this operation, the firm has announced the departure of Shirley Cook, who had been managing Proenza Schouler since its creation and who played a central role in the agreement, as she did in the licensing contract signed at the beginning of June with L'Oréal for the creation and development of Proenza Schouler perfumes.

Ron Frasch, ex-president and merchandising manager of New York's Saks Fifth Avenue and currently an operating partner at Castanea, who will take on the role of interim CEO.

Ron Frasch will also be joining Proenza Schouler’s Board of Directors, along with Brian Knez, a managing partner at Castanea. Other board members include Rose Marie Bravo, former CEO of Burberry Group Plc, John Howard, Chief Executive of Irving Place Capital, and Andrew Rosen, CEO of Theory, Inc.

Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez are delighted with the arrival of this new investor, with whom they will be able to "realise their dream and develop the Proenza Schouler brand globally."

Proenza Schouler has 10 fully-owned stores and more than 100 points of sale in more than 20 countries. The ready-to-wear brand also launched a handbag line in 2008, and then signed a licensing contract for the production and distribution of a shoe collection in 2012.

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