A number of smaller firms are expected to pitch “for sale” signs this year, in many cases hoping to attract a beauty giant as mighty as the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. or Procter & Gamble Co.
At the center of much of the chatter in financial circles is Yes To Inc., a skin care range that endeared retailers and shoppers to natural products with a carrot and a happy-go-lucky image. Several sources said Yes To Inc. is close to hiring Deutsche Bank to advise the company on a possible sale. Deutsche Bank, which declined to comment, is garnering lots of interest from potential sellers given it advised Smashbox in its sale to Lauder in 2010, said bankers.
Yes To Inc.’s co-founder, Ido Leffler, said the firm is not for sale, but it has been inundated with calls from all corners of the financial world. Leffler said, “We’ve been looking at potential advisers” to handle the volume of queries “so we can focus on continuing to run the business. Nothing has been done.”
Still, bankers are looking at Yes To Inc. as a hot commodity.
The skin care range — which began in Israel and now has collections based on cucumbers, blueberries and tomatoes — launched stateside in May 2007 in Walgreens and quickly garnered a flurry of attention with its paraben-free, antioxidant and Dead Sea mineral-powered product. Its whimsical product design and Leffler — the charismatic, orange-clad “chief carrot lover” — launched Yes To Inc. on the radar screen of industry stalwarts, including Ulta, Target, CVS Pharmacy, Wal-Mart and Sephora stores in Europe.
The now five-year-old brand — widely seen as an industry darling — attracted private equity investors San Francisco Equity Partners and Simon Equity Partners in 2008. Afterward, the company established its headquarters in San Francisco and begun expanding its distribution here and aboard. It is now sold in 28,000 doors across the globe and industry sources estimate the brand generates $60 million in retail sales.
Other companies seen as acquisition targets include Tarte Cosmetics Inc., which has received funding from the private equity company Encore Consumer Capital, and fellow niche brands Peter Thomas Roth skin care and Urban Decay cosmetics. Financial players are also closely keeping tabs on the botanical skin care brand Aesop. The Australian brand has a strong Asian presence, which could nicely suit a larger company looking to move deeper into the market, such as Lauder, sources said.
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion