LONDON – Linda Bennett is back at the helm of L.K. Bennett with a new majority stake in the footwear firm she founded in 1990 as a single shop in Wimbledon.She has effectively bought back the business, having increased her investment in the company by acquiring the remaining equity in L.K. Bennett Limited from Phoenix Equity Partners for an undisclosed sum."Working closely with the L.K. Bennett team over the past few months has given me a real sense of excitement and confidence in the potential of the brand,” Bennett said Wednesday. “We want to focus on making beautiful clothing and footwear for women of all ages. I’m thrilled to be back in the business."The company declined to comment further on the new shareholding structure or the size of Bennett’s new stake.In July, 2008 Bennett sold the business to Phoenix Equity Partners and Sirius Equity, but kept a 30 percent stake and remained a non-executive director.Darren Topp, chief executive officer of L.K. Bennett, said Wednesday the management team is “delighted that Linda has demonstrated her continued commitment to the business. Linda has been working with the team since April of this year improving the product, growing the business and supporting the changes we began to make when I joined the company last year. We look forward to accelerating that change in the future to ensure the brand’s continued success in today's retail environment.”The company has more than 260 shops and concessions in more than 30 countries around the world.Phoenix Equity Partners said that on its watch “the chain has significantly expanded its overseas footprint, and its online presence has been greatly enhanced. We wish Linda, Darren and the team every success in the years to come.”As reported in 2008, Phoenix and Sirius were thought to have paid between 80 million pounds and 100 million pounds for their stake in L.K. Bennett, although the terms of the deal were never disclosed.Over the past decade, they expanded the reach of the brand, opening in new markets and building up the retail and wholesale networks. They also built up the women's wear offer and added a dose of glamour, tapping models and actresses such as Stella Tennant, Laura Bailey, Rosamund Pike and Emily Mortimer for campaigns and collaborations.The Duchess of Cambridge has also been a longtime supporter, and over the years has been photographed wearing nude L.K. Bennett platforms or black espadrille wedges.
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