Private equity firm Istithmar World Capital has acquired a 40 percent stake in Espa International, the U.K.-based global luxury spa company.
Espa, which has designed some of the world's most luxurious spas in five-star hotels — its latest is with the Peninsula New York Hotel — also markets a natural product range and runs a spa management division. The company operates 100 spas in 45 countries around the world, with offices in the U.K., U.S. and Hong Kong. A Dubai office, where IWC is based, is due to open later this year.
Susan Harmsworth, who serves as chief executive officer and founder of Espa International, originated the company in 1993. Her son, Charles, who serves as brand director, said the deal allows the company to grow at a much faster pace, and "to expect great things from Espa" in the future.
"We brought the brand to a certain point and a minority investment allows us to build a bigger [manufacturing] facility and bring more people into the U.K.," said Charles Harmsworth.
IWC's portfolio includes Barneys New York, which it purchased from Jones Apparel Group for $942.3 million in August.
Espa is launching a new skin care range, Super Active, which will be carried on Espa's Web site in August and will be available in spas in October. Super Active is Espa's biggest product launch in several years and targets different skin conditions and types.
There are four different ranges: Tone & Firm, Calm & Soothe, Repair & Restore and Cellular Hydration. A new Eye Firming product also has been designed. Facials will be offered in Espa's spas around the world reflecting the new Super Active ranges.
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion