Paula Thomas of Thomas Wylde has hired Elsa Berry’s Vendôme Global Partners to find a strategic partner and investor who can help propel growth at the high-end, rock ’n’ roll-infused brand.
Thomas, who developed her sensibilities as a model in the Eighties London fashion scene — described as a “crazy, brilliant time” — is now well-versed in the business side of the industry. She’s also known in Hollywood and director Ridley Scott turned to her to dress Cameron Diaz in “The Counselor” last year.
Thomas Wylde’s sales weigh in at less than $10 million annually, but the eight-year-old brand has developed a global customer base to build on. Russia and Japan each account for just more than 20 percent of sales, while less than 15 percent of sales come from the U.S.
The designer is touting a certain maturity as she looks for a partner and is staying off what she described as “the trend treadmill” that pushes brands to become overdistributed.
“The hardest part is to maintain this specialness,” she said. “You want to distribute more because you need to grow, but you need to do it in a very controlled environment so you do have 30 or 40 years [of growth]. My biggest thing is consistency — and then the next chapter of my life and the brand’s life is to find a partner who knows how to license the business well.”
Berry, an investment banking veteran who started Vendôme in 2012 to connect brands with buyers, said the idea is not just for the business to raise cash, but to team with a like-minded investor to help expand what is still a very pure brand.
Berry said of Thomas, “She’s special because she has a very edgy, distinctive brand DNA that’s very coherent, mixing both rebel aspects, but also a sophisticated elegance that has connected [with shoppers] around the world. It’s not been licensed out. It’s not deviated from its core.”
Thomas Wylde’s five-year plan includes a move into retail — the brand’s first store will open in Los Angeles next month — as well as e-commerce, denim, a diffusion line and then licenses for fragrance, eyewear and footwear.
A key part of the brand is its skull motif, which pops up regularly in the designs, appearing as a small detail on a bag or as part of a larger pattern.
“I think we’ve gone through a phase of minimalism and now I think we’ve gone back to a place where people want recognition,” Thomas said. “A logo’s very important. A lot of designers, I felt, in the last two or three seasons were going away from that.”
Thomas Wylde’s prices reach up to $2,500 for ready-to-wear and bags and orders are drop shipped from factories in South Korea. The brand has about 120 points of sale and is working on setting up shop in shops in the Russian chain Tsum.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty