LONDON — Designer Hussein Chalayan has a new minority investor. Centricus, the global investment platform, confirmed Friday it has taken a 20 percent stake in the Chalayan brand as part of a bigger plan to delve into the fashion, entertainment, media and sports industries.
Centricus added that Mehves Ariburnu, a former banker, founder of the contemporary art gallery MANA and member of Tate’s acquisition committee will be named chief executive officer of the Chalayan Group.
Chalayan launched in the business after Browns in London purchased his graduate collection in 1993 and displayed it in their South Molton Street windows. As part of that collection, known as “The Tangent Flows,” the Central Saint Martin’s graduate produced pieces that he’d buried in the ground and later exhumed.
Over the past decades, Chalayan would continue to produce thought-provoking women’s and men’s collections that incorporated architectural shapes and design themes, digital technology and LED lighting. He has long been one of the industry’s thinkers — and provocateurs. Most recently, his pre-fall 2018 collection addressed his concerns about immigration.
The designer has a flagship in Mayfair, and in the past designed the Vionnet collection along with that brand’s owner Goga Ashkenazi and the creative team.
The investment is Centricus’ first in the fashion industry, and marks the start of a fourth investment vertical that will focus on fashion, entertainment, media and sports to sit alongside existing portfolios in financial services, technology and infrastructure.
Centricus said it would work in partnership with the management team, supporting Chalayan’s expansion with a particular focus on the Chinese market. It said it would also harness technologies to drive sales growth.
Centricus co-founder Dalinc Ariburnu said that with Centricus’ backing, “Chalayan will have access to the management expertise and capital strength to support its geographic expansion and technological development.”
Chalayan said Centricus will “help us grow and reach new markets in innovative ways. The Centricus team have an out-of-the-box approach very much aligned with Chalayan brand values. I very much look forward to starting this new venture.”
Centricus’ founders Ariburnu and Nizar Al-Bassam have also been working on other fronts: The company said its team led the structuring and fund-raising for SoftBank’s $93 billion global technology investment fund, the Vision Fund, the largest single fund capital raise in the asset management industry to date. It also advised Softbank on its $3.3 billion acquisition of U.S.-bases asset manager Fortress.