PARIS - Swiss beauty manufacturer Art & Fragrance SA has sold a 49.2 percent share of the French crystal and jewelry house Lalique to Financière Saint-Germain for 20.5 million euros, or $29.3 million at current exchange.
The deal was revealed as Zollikerberg, Switzerland-based Art & Fragrance posted first-half losses of 6.2 million Swiss francs, or $5.9 million at average exchange, due to challenging market conditions and the cost of restructuring Lalique, which it acquired from Groupe Pochet in February. Art & Fragrance's six-month sales came in at 45.9 million Swiss francs, or $43.8 million.
Paris-based Financière Saint-Germain's stake excludes Lalique Parfums, whose sales grew 10 percent in the half, which will remain in Art & Fragrance¹s portfolio, which includes Parfums Grès, Jaguar Parfums, Parfums Alain Delon and Ultrasun sun care.
Slower sales of crystal and jewelry at Lalique, which posted an overall loss of 6.4 million Swiss francs, or $6.1 million, in the first half, reflected negative consumer sentiment, Art & Fragrance said, adding its reorganization of the brand continues as planned. Since the acquisition, Art & Fragrance has tapped a new artistic director at Lalique, closed five unprofitable stores and downsized three others, as well as replaced management at the firm's production site.
With the savoir faire of new investors, executives hope to nip the sales downturn in the bud. Financière Saint-Germain, the private holding company of the Amouyal family, also owns Haviland porcelain and tableware and crystal brand Cristalleries Royales de Champagne. "In the Amouyal family, we are gaining a strategic shareholder for Lalique who is prepared to make a long-term commitment and has considerable knowledge in the porcelain and crystal segments," stated Silvio Denz, chairman of the board of Art & Fragrance and Lalique.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast