PHOENIX, SIRIUS BUY STAKE IN LK BENNETT: London-based private equity companies Phoenix Equity Partners and Sirius Equity have together taken a majority stake in LK Bennett, a London footwear and clothing brand that operates 90 stores and concessions throughout the U.K., and one store in Paris. As part of the transaction, Robert Bensoussan, co-founder of Sirius, has been named chairman of LK Bennett, Phoenix and Sirius said on Saturday. Linda Bennett, who founded the company in 1990, will remain a non-executive director with a 30 percent stake in the business. The brand is known for catering to a tony clientele. Bennett in 2005 designed the shoes that Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, wore when she wed Prince Charles. A report in London's Financial Times over the weekend said that the company is set to achieve sales of 60 million pounds, or $119.8 million, in the fi scal year ended July, and operating profi ts of 12 million pounds, or $23.9 million. The FT report added that Phoenix and Sirius had paid between 80 million pounds and 100 million pounds, or $159.8 million and $199.8 million, for their stake in LK Bennett. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. LK Bennett plans to open new stores in the U.K. and establish a retail presence in Europe, the U.S., Asia and emerging markets. The companies said they also plan to develop LK Bennett's product range and explore licensing opportunities for the brand. Bensoussan called LK Bennett "an incredibly strong brand," adding, "We believe there is an exciting opportunity to develop the business and the brand further." Phoenix and Sirius have previously worked in partnership to develop the Jimmy Choo and Radley accessories brands.
“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