PARIS — Universal Beauty Group has raised 1.5 million euros of capital from private-equity firm Audacia, WWD has learned.The French natural cosmetics maker, which produces the Végétalement Provence brand for hair salons and beauty professionals, said the new funds will help back production and marketing, and broaden operations in its domestic market of France as well as abroad.Végétalement Provence is slated to open a concept store in Paris next year.“The arrival of Audacia marks a turning point for Végétalement Provence, and will enable us to provide a wider and stronger offer to our clients, reaching out to both beauty professionals and the general public,” said Jean-Marc Delabre, a cofounder of Universal Beauty Group.Delabre, a longstanding hairdressing professional, and Vincent Faraco, a marketing executive, began Universal Beauty in 2008. At the beginning, it produced and distributed hair-care products for other companies. They then launched their own natural hair-care products under the Végétalement Provence label in 2013.Today, products from Végétalement Provence, which is based in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, are carried in approximately 800 sales points, including more than 350 high-end salons, mostly in France.The company sells in Western Europe, Switzerland, Russia and the U.S., where last year it opened a subsidiary primarily for Florida and the country’s West Coast. Végétalement Provence aims to grow in Asia — where it recently set up an office in Hong Kong — and the Middle East.The brand is expected to generate sales of 5 million euros this year.Universal Beauty Group said Végétalement Provence “has succeeded in satisfying the purist consumer looking for environmentally friendly product, whilst also catering to the technical demands of beauty professionals.”The label’s range includes shampoos, hair care, colorants, tea and, more recently, styling products for professionals. Looking ahead, it plans to broaden the skin-care and makeup categories.[caption id="attachment_10942028" align="alignnone" width="300"] A Végétalement Provence product.[/caption]The natural beauty sector has been on a steep growth trajectory, with sales rising annually at up to 10 percent, according to Universal Beauty Group.Richard Morgan Advisory and the Alcya Conseil law firm advised Universal Beauty Group. CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre was Audacia’s legal adviser, and KPMG handled the private-equity firm’s due diligence.Audacia has invested more than 720 million euros in 320 companies from various sectors. It has in the past taken stakes in other premium consumer goods groups, including Cire Trudon, Olympia Le-Tan, APC, Fermob and Kusmi Tea.
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion
@longchamp, which marks its 70th anniversary this year, just opened its biggest U.S. store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. On the lower level there’s a floor-to-ceiling display of the brand’s iconic Le Pliage bag – in all of its different colors, shapes and sizes. Customers can also have their product personalized in-store by imprinting names, initials or emblems. #wwdfashion (📷: @ericmtownsend)
“Whenever I’m in that place of sound and music, I don’t have fear or nervousness…This album has a lot of themes of courage and boldness and I want to be the soundtrack for people’s lives. I’ll be so happy if [my songs] evoke strength in people, which I know music has done for me,” says @kimbramusic of her newest album “Primal Heart.” The New Zealand-born singer sat down with WWD to talk about her music, newest tour and connecting with hear fans — read more on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
Luxury handbag resale company @rebagofficial is planning to sell a rare collectible for $70,000: the @hermes White Crocodile Himalayan Birkin. The exclusive Birkin sold for about $100,000 in 2008, when @davidbeckham bought one for his wife @victoriabeckham to add to her collection. Read more about the rare Birkin on WWD.com #wwdaccessories
With her costume pearl necklace and what-you-see-is-what-you-get style, Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday at age 92, was a straight-shooter from start to finish.
Born Barbara Pierce in New York City, Bush served as the 37th first lady, as well as the country’s second lady from 1981 to 1989. In addition to being part of the longest presidential marriage — 73 years — Bush also had the unlikely distinction of having one son, George W., become the 43rd president and another son, Jeb, run unsuccessfully in 2016. Having served as second lady during the Reagan administration’s two terms and lived all over the world during her own husband’s ascending political career, Barbara Bush made it clear that literacy — not fashion — was her priority. Read more from Rosemary Feitelberg’s obituary on the late First Lady in WWD.com, link in bio. #barbarabush #wwdnews
Western and ’90s trends have influenced denim for fall 2018. Think raw, dark and coated jeans mixed with bold prints and tough leather. #trendtuesdays #wwdfashion (Styled by @thealexbadia;📷: @ryanplett)