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NEW YORK — Aronsson Group LLC said Monday that it purchased a stake in Ginny H, the fashion label by Ginny Hilfiger.
As part of the undisclosed equity stake, Aronsson Group plans to help the designer form a capital strategy, which includes building an infrastructure and helping her with global sourcing, marketing and a distribution strategy for growth.
Jeffry Aronsson, who co-founded Aronsson Group with Shauna Mei in 2006, said he and his business partner had been looking at several investment opportunities, and saw growth potential for Ginny H.
“Certain key managers will be imported to support her and her talent in terms of what she can produce and distribute,” Aronsson said. “Right now, the only thing that had been limited to her were the resources, both human resources and capital resources. We are working with her to put a first-rate team together, and to build the best capital strategy as well.”
Hilfiger started her label after working for her bother, Tommy Hilfiger, for 15 years. There she oversaw several brand extensions, including the launch of Tommy Jeans, as well as the women’s sportswear and junior lines. She also helped with licensed divisions and designed the H Hilfiger collection. Before that, she worked at Tweeds catalogue.
She launched Ginny H with her husband, Chris Mahl, in 2005 with a small collection offering classifications like dresses, suits, jackets and knits. The line is available at Bergdorf Goodman, as well as smaller specialty stores such as Peter Elliot Women on Madison Avenue, Rexer-Parkes in Huntington, N.Y., Coplon’s in Richmond, Va., and Naples, Fla., and B. Barnett in Little Rock, Ark. At Bergdorf’s, the collection, which wholesales from about $220 to $700, sits on the sixth floor, across from Ralph Lauren’s Black Label and Etro.
Hilfiger told WWD that she had been talking to several people, but quickly found a rapport with Aronsson and Mei. She was introduced to them through Gary Sheinbaum, president of Tommy Hilfiger retail. She is hopeful the new partners will help her grow the business through myriad ways.
“Right now, I do everything on my own, from merchandising and fabric ordering,” Hilfiger said. “I am excited about establishing an infrastructure that allows me to spend more time designing.”
This story first appeared in the March 18, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Aronsson Group works with several foreign companies that are looking to invest in fashion and luxury retail companies, and also owns a stake in Matthew Williamson’s business.
Mei added that in the first year, the focus will be expanding the distribution in specialty stores, before venturing into freestanding retail, e-commerce and building Hilfiger’s global distribution.
“I am hoping to build Ginny H as a real brand, a whole lifestyle,” Hilfiger said. “I think that’s where Jeffry and Shauna will be instrumental.”