Earlier this year, two groups of fashion executives were gleeful after their companies were flipped by private equity owners—and not just because of the personal financial windfall. In both cases, those companies—Jimmy Choo and Kurt Geiger—were sold to trade buyers, Labelux Group and The Jones Group Inc., respectively. By severing their ties with private equity, their companies were now in the hands of investors who speak their language.
“I feel like Jimmy Choo has found the right home now,” Tamara Mellon, founder and chief creative officer of the famous shoe house, said at the time. Choo had been in various private equity hands for a decade. TowerBrook Capital LLP was its most recent investor. “Labelux has a completely different vision from private equity—brand building versus financial engineering,” added Mellon, whose company swelled from 20 million pounds ($28.8 million at average exchange) to 549 million pounds ($900 million at current exchange) in those 10 years, and whose personal net worth is estimated at 150 million pounds ($246 million), according to the Sunday Times Rich List.
A Stella McCartney sketch of a custom dress made from protein-based silk in partnership with biotech lab Bolt Threads. The dress will be displayed at The Museum of Modern Art's upcoming design exhibition, "Items: Is Fashion Modern?"