Sep 14, 2022
Lalique buys a struggling Zurich-based silk manufacturer
Sep 14, 2022
The Swiss group Lalique, owner of the famous French crystalware manufacturer of the same name, is to buy a struggling Zurich-based silk manufacturer, Fabric Frontline, with the aim of turning it around, Lalique announced on Wednesday on the sidelines of its half-yearly results.
The Swiss group has signed an agreement to acquire the Fabric Frontline brand from Swiss company Trudel Fashion, it said in a statement, without disclosing the amount of the transaction.
Founded over 40 years ago, Fabric Frontline manufactures high-end silk accessories and has become known for its scarves thanks to its traditional printing process and high-quality fabrics produced in northern Italy, said the group.
"At its peak, Fabric Frontline worked with fashion houses such as Hermès, Chanel, Dior, Nina Ricci and Vivienne Westwood," said Lalique.
In June, Trudel Fashion, the brand's owner since 2012, announced that the brand would cease operations later this year if no other solution was found.
The Lalique group intends to turn the brand around through cooperation with its other brands, as it already did in 2015 with its crystal brand, but also through textile applications for furniture.
It also plans to showcase the brand in the Zurich hotel called "Villa Florhof", whose history is linked to the silk industry in Zurich and which was recently bought by Silvio Denz, the group's founder, with another investor.
The acquisition of Fabric Frontline is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2023, with the first collection expected in spring 2024.
In 2008, Silvio Denz, a Swiss investor who made his fortune in perfume, took over the struggling French crystal maker Lalique, known for its jewellery, vases and perfume bottles.
His company, initially called Art & Fragrance, took over the name of its prestigious subsidiary, renaming itself Lalique Group.
For the first half of the year, the group, which is also active in the luxury hotel industry, reported a clear rebound in sales thanks to the gradual lifting of health restrictions. Its turnover rose by 29% compared to the first half of last year, to 83.2 million euros, exceeding its pre-pandemic level, thanks in particular to crystal sales and the recovery in perfume sales.
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