PARIS — Speculation is mounting in Europe that Lanvin owner Shaw-Lan Wang is seeking a minority investor.
According to industry sources, the Taiwanese publishing magnate, who bought Lanvin from L'Oréal in 2001, has not given anyone a mandate to sell the business, but has been in contact with potential partners at a time when the brand is enjoying strong momentum and rapid sales growth, sources said.
A Lanvin spokeswoman declined comment Tuesday.
The likelihood of a deal could not be learned, nor the identity of potential partners. The sources said Wang is looking for a partner to provide a capital increase in return for a minority stake to speed growth of the French fashion house, which is underdeveloped versus its competitors in terms of product categories and retail expansion.
French financial daily Les Echos said Wang is seeking to sell 35 to 40 percent of Lanvin at a price that would value the business between 100 million and 200 million euros, or $156 million to $312 million at current exchange.
It is understood many suitors have kicked the tires at Lanvin in recent years, but most balk at Wang's desire to maintain management control and other conditions. Still, the executive has plenty of high-powered friends, particularly in Asia, who could inject the cash she is seeking.
"She's been looking for a minority partner since she bought the business," said one source.
Last August, Lanvin sold its fragrance and cosmetics business to Inter Parfums SA for 22 million euros, or about $30 million, saying it needed the funds to develop its ready-to-wear and accessories businesses.
Partnering with local retailers, Lanvin plans to open about a dozen boutiques during the next year in the Middle East, Europe and India. The company, which entered the black last year, is projecting sales growth in the range of 40 percent for 2008.
“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