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LONDON — Solange Azagury-Partridge has sold a controlling stake in her London-based jewelry business and has big plans for expansion.
The jeweler, who has a stand-alone store on London’s Westbourne Grove and is famous for her colored stones and dark, dramatic designs, has sold the stake to Peter Harf, the chairman of Coty Inc. and a longtime client of hers.
Harf, who is also chief executive of Coty’s German parent, Joh. A. Benckiser GmbH, plans to use Azagury-Partridge’s company as the seed to build a portfolio of small and medium-size luxury brands called Label Lux, according to the designer.
“I know him, trust him, and he values my creativity,” said Azagury-Partridge of Harf. “The conditions for this deal were 100 percent right for me,” she told WWD exclusively.
Azagury-Partridge will remain creative director and managing director of her company. Under the deal, the London-born jeweler, whose Sephardic Jewish family is originally from Casablanca, Morocco, plans to open a Manhattan store within the year. There are also plans afoot to open an additional five to 10 shops worldwide.
“I had come to the point of semi-frustration, where I was going to have to carry on being self-funded or get some financial and business input,” she said. “This business is expensive, and without outside help I would have been able to open just one more shop.”
Azagury-Partridge’s business, which she founded in 1990, consists of ready-to-wear collections, bespoke commissions and fragrance. She said she and her partners were already putting systems in place to make production and distribution easier.
Azagury-Partridge said she was hoping to have secured a Manhattan store location later this year. In October, she will be in New York for an exhibition at the Sebastian + Barquet gallery in Chelsea. The show will feature artwork inspired by her jewelry.