PARIS — Vilebrequin, the Saint Tropez-based swim trunks company, has changed hands.
Fashion Fund One, a private equity fund based in the Netherlands, on Thursday said it acquired 100 percent of TRB International SA, the Luxembourg-based holding company that owns worldwide rights to the brand, from its owner, Pierre-Alain Blum. Terms were not disclosed.
It is Fashion Fund One's second transaction since a group of former executives from the Mexx fast-fashion chain founded it last year. (Liz Claiborne Inc., which now owns Mexx, is not involved in the fund.)
Last year, Fashion Fund One purchased Secon Group, an Amsterdam company that runs men's and women's brands, including Arrow and Anotherwoman, in Europe.
Hans Ouwendijk, managing director of the fund, said other deals were being pursued. He declined to give details. But he said the firm was interested in building a portfolio of small to midsize fashion companies based in Europe. "We are interested in smaller brands that we can help export to different parts of Europe and internationally," he explained.
Vilebrequin, arguably France's most popular swimsuit brand, operates 67 stores and is sold in department and specialty stores in 16 countries.
"The company is doing very well and has nice double-digit increases every year," said Ouwendijk. "We want to put more fuel in the tank."
Ouwendijk said more own stores would be opened and an effort would be made to increase Vilebrequin's wholesale accounts. He said Blum would remain a non-executive member of the company's board.
Vilebrequin was founded in the Seventies in Saint-Tropez and quickly earned cult status among men for its bright patterned trucks that are a riff on classic surfing shorts. In the Nineties, the company expanded by launching men's ready-to-wear and accessories. It also creates swim trunks for children.
Ouwendijk said there were no plans to expand Vilebrequin into women's wear.
Mexx founders Rattan Chada and Adu Advaney both are involved in Fashion Fund One. Chada also owns a golf course in the south of France and is developing a low-cost hotel concept.
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)
Discovery is collaborating with British pop artist @philipcolbert on a new line of clothing and accessories called Discovery Shark. The collection, which will launch next summer for Shark Week’s 30th anniversary, features a whimsical line of women’s and men’s bomber jackets, sweatshirts, bags and more. #wwdfashion
“I’m always a big champion of a female rapper, and I’m glad to see a new voice that feels unique and authentic that’s coming up, and I think we’re going to see more great things from her,” said @itsjeremyscott about @iamcardib, who performed at @moschino’s Art Basel Miami Beach party last night. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
@janellemonae’s “What’s Your Frequency?” room in @refinery29's #29Rooms made its debut this week at the opening of the Los Angeles art exhibit. “It’s about the ongoing conversation around mass surveillance, the weaponization of technology and cultural uniformity. My space was created so that we can come together and talk about the complexities of our humanity,” said Monáe. #wwdeye (📷: @bucknerphoto)
@pantone announced their Color of the Year 2018: Ultra Violet. Nearly 20 months after the musician Prince’s death, fashion is having a purple moment. Varying shades of purple appeared on spring or fall runways, from @christopherkane to @calvinklein. @gucci’s Alessandro Michele bathed his fall runway in ultra violet-colored light at one point. Pantone 18-3838 is meant to “push the boundaries of what inspires us to look upward and outward to the future.” #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)