NEW YORK — The Komar company has signed a letter of intent to acquire Le Mystère, an upscale foundations brand.
The deal is expected to close Thursday, said Charles Komar, chairman and chief executive officer of the $750 million Komar firm.
A purchase price was not available, but Le Mystère generates wholesale annual sales of $25 million, according to industry sources.
The Le Mystère brand was created in 1991 by Michael Rabinowitz, a 46-year veteran of the intimate apparel industry.
The brand is sold at major department and specialty retailers in the U.S. such as Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s and Dillard’s, and Harrods and John Lewis in the U.K., as well as specialty boutiques worldwide.
Komar said that Rabinowitz will continue to run the Le Mystère business and the showroom will remain located at 183 Madison Avenue here.
“We’ve been working on this for a long time and have been back and forth on this deal for the past several months,” said Komar. “It’s still a great brand and business, and it’s the second-best-selling [bra] brand at Harrods. They had a big bump in 2006 but sales have since remained consistent.…In this environment it’s so hard to run a business and have all of the synergies in place.”
The Le Mystère brand gained national exposure in 2006 when Oprah Winfrey featured a bevy of the brand’s fashion bras on her TV talk show.
Regarding any changes at Le Mystère, Komar said, “Most employees will continue with us but there’s sure to be some back-office consolidation.”
“We’ll be investing a lot of money and will be expanding the brand into sleepwear and loungewear categories in 2014,” he said.
The Komar company has been on an acquisitions roll for the past several years.
Komar bought Biflex Intimates Group LLC, a $60 million intimates specialist, in August. In October 2010, the family-owned Komar acquired The Carole Hochman Design Group, a sleepwear and foundations concern that generates between $150 million and $299 million annually. Hochman produces and distributes intimates by On Gossamer as well as several licensees, including Oscar de la Renta, Lauren Ralph Lauren, Betsey Johnson Intimates, Lilly Pulitzer, and Tommy Bahama sleepwear, loungewear and boxers for men. In December 2010, Komar bought the $100 million St. Eve and St. Eve Kids brands and assets from Russell-Newman Inc. Earlier, Komar purchased O’Bryan Bros. Inc., a $50 million specialist of warmwear by Cuddl Duds, in May 2009.
Komar’s portfolio includes licensed sleepwear by Donna Karan, DKNY, Ellen Tracy, Eileen West and Kensie.
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion