Isabel Marant gets new owner to guide growth
The brand has almost been an exception as one of the few independent high-profile Paris labels and took its time letting any investors buy into the company. Designer Isabel Marant’s label has finally concluded negotiations with Montefiore Investment, after turning away other investors in the past. The lucky winner, a French fund, is a newcomer to the fashion industry, but not a novice, given the profile of its team, particularly in the luxury sector.
Montefiore Investment now holds a 51% of capital in Isabel Marant. The designer herself and her two long-time associates, Sophie Duruflé and Nathalie Chemouny, retain control of the remaining capital. They will steer the ship for the time being, even if the new map does include plans to to rapidly enlarge both the management and design teams, which will oversee two lines. While the primary Isabel Marant line has gradually been approaching the designer fashion houses, the second line Etoile will give it an entry into the affordable luxury trend.
Having achieved 150 million euros in revenues last year, the brand must now consolidate its structure to enter a next phase of growth. The company will bolster its retail distribution, which currently stands at 22 stores, only nine of which are own stores, in addition to 600 multi-brand retailers. It also plans to enlarge its territory, even though it already has a jump start in international growth. Sales outside of France account for 80% of revenues.
The brand will simultaneously expand in several regions in Europe, the U.S. and Asia, all locations where it already has a good foothold. The brand also hopes that the launch of its first e-commerce store in partnership with Yoox will help drive growth in 2017. Just like in selecting an investor, Isabel Marant took its time in launching a web presence.
It was this slower rhythm that also convinced Montefiore Investment, who believes that the brand’s foundations are very solid, with very real growth opportunities. The brand boasts a strong reputation, a growth perspective and is quite possibly a plum prize, considered an not-to-be-missed opportunity not in the fashion world. And now Montefiore has emerged the victor.
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