NO CAN DO: La Perla is firmly denying the existence of any negotiations to sell the Italian lingerie brand to Megha Mittal, the daughter-in-law of billionaire steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal and representative of the Mittal family. This follows speculation initiated by a Mergermarket report that Mittal, who bought Escada in 2009, was targeting La Perla.
Pacific Global Management, helmed by Italian entrepreneur Silvio Scaglia, bought La Perla in 2013 at an auction. A Milan-based market source said Scaglia is “focused on the development of the label, and is not looking to cash out.” Pacific Global Management is also parent to model agency Elite World.
Scaglia has been on a mission to grow La Perla’s lifestyle offering and expand its retail footprint. Last year, for example, the company reopened its Madison Avenue store, which was redesigned by architect Roberto Baciocchi to accommodate newer categories including men’s sleepwear, underwear and women’s sunglasses.
In 2016, La Perla hired Julia Haart as the brand’s creative director, following Pedro Lourenço. Haart’s second collection for the brand debuted at New York Fashion Week, working British gardens’ floral motifs throughout the sexy and feminine lineup. Haart has been working hard to raise the profile of La Perla’s corset jacket, which the company touts “can go from the boardroom to evening.” Gwyneth Paltrow was recently spotted wearing one and Kendall Jenner is featured in the brand’s ad campaign, launched earlier this year. It’s a cornerstone of Haart’s reinvention of the Italian innerwear brand, which includes ready-to-wear, sleepwear, beachwear and accessories. The ad campaign, photographed by Steven Klein, features Jenner, Isabeli Fontana and Liu Wen.
In 2015, La Perla’s first Atelier collection showed during Couture Fashion Week in Paris. In June 2014, the company relaunched its men’s wear division at Pitti Uomo.
Last April, the company inked a five-year licensing agreement with fragrance manufacturer and distributor CBBeauty. That deal includes the development, production and distribution of La Perla’s beauty portfolio, starting from the worldwide launch of a new scent, La Mia Perla, which means “My Pearl” in Italian.
La Perla was founded by Ada Masotti in 1954 and was headed by her son Alberto Masotti until the sale in 2007 to San Francisco-based private equity firm JH Partners, which took full control of the group in 2008 and exited in 2013.