PARIS — The house of Angelo Tarlazzi is the latest fashion player to attract a private equity partner.
The designer said Tuesday the French fund Xaap Finance has taken a 67 percent stake in the company with plans to accelerate growth by expanding wholesale distribution, reentering the retail business and moving into accessories and footwear. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The designer and Tarlazzi chief executive officer Bruno Degeorges, who retain the rest of the shares, said they hope to lift the house back to its pinnacle in the go-go Eighties, when revenues totaled around 40 million euros and the brand had boutiques from New York to Tokyo.
Last year, revenues vaulted 40 percent to about 3 million euros, or $4.1 million at average exchange rates.
"Each new project will come with an envelope of funding," Degeorges said in an interview in Tarlazzi's office, the designer's desk strewn with sketches for his summer 2009 collection. "We will be opening a store in Paris in 2009 and are currently searching for a location."
Famous in the Eighties for his dramatic eveningwear and flyaway dresses, Tarlazzi has recently made inroads into specialty stores, with U.S. buyers receptive to his knitwear, tailored jerseys and versatile shirtdresses, which booked strongly for resort. He had been absent from the U.S. market for about a decade until a few years ago, and stopped showing on the runway in Paris in 2003.
Degeorges said the U.S. accounts for about half of the label's business, which gave Xaap confidence in its expansion potential. The brand is sold in about 60 U.S. doors including Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Ultimo, Tootsie's and Stanley Korshak, often positioned next to Italian labels such as Moschino, Blumarine and Etro.
Degeorges described an investment horizon of at least 10 years. "It is our role to assume the financial development of the company. There is a huge potential owing to their success in the U.S. and 30 years of history as a label," said Patrick Papot, president of Xaap Finance.
This is the first fashion investment for Xaap, which counts holdings in diverse industries such as chemicals, transportation and finance.
Italian-born Tarlazzi launched his label in 1978 and operated under the radar as the company changed hands and regrouped. He designs five collections a year and said he is eager to return to men's wear.
Meanwhile, Tarlazzi and Degeorges said they are mulling ways to boost the brand's media profile, with a possible return to the runway, and to again take on the Asian market, notably Japan. "We have an objective of 30 to 40 million euros in five years" Degeorges said.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews