NEW YORK — Authentic Brands Group has added another high-profile name to its portfolio: Neil Lane.ABG, the New York-based brand development firm, has purchased a majority interest in Neil Lane Enterprises, a fine jewelry and accessories company based in Los Angeles that has a large celebrity following and is the jeweler for “The Bachelor” and “Bachelorette” franchises. Under the ABG umbrella, the plan is to expand the Neil Lane label into a full lifestyle brand encompassing home goods, bridal collections and even travel.Terms were not disclosed, but market sources indicate the deal has an enterprise value of around $100 million.“We started looking at the brand in March of 2015,” said Jamie Salter, chairman and chief executive officer of ABG, in an interview at his offices here. But it took this long for him to convince Lane and his largest retail account, Signet Jewelers, which operates more than 3,000 Kay Jewelers, Zales and Jared The Gallery of Jewelry stores, that the deal would be beneficial to all parties. Lane designs a commercial collection for the Signet stores as well as a couture collection that he sells at his store in West Hollywood and to private clients.Reached on Thursday, Lane was all in. “So many people have approached me over the years,” he said, “but I was always reluctant.” However, Lane realized that in order to continue growing, he needed a large partner with strong infrastructure so that he could concentrate on providing his “aesthetic and creative,” while ABG handled the back end. “We courted each other for a long time,” he said, “but it’s a great marriage.”Salter said ABG intends to grow Neil Lane into “a lifestyle and media property on a worldwide basis.” The top categories will include tabletop, home products, bridal — “I can see a Neil Lane registry,” he said — stationery, and even a travel component where the designer offers his take on the “best honeymoon spots” or becomes a red-carpet host talking about jewelry. “He’s a brand builder,” Salter said, adding that Lane will continue to be intimately involved in the company.Neil Lane represents the first fine-jewelry brand within the ABG family. Other brands that offer jewelry include Judith Leiber, Juicy Couture, Jones New York, Adrienne Vittadini and Frederick’s of Hollywood.Lane was represented in the deal by Greif & Co., a Los Angeles-based investment bank specializing in mergers and acquisitions for entrepreneurially owned companies. Lloyd Greif, president and ceo of Greif & Co., said Lane “felt distinctly unfulfilled designing only jewelry. His distinctive design aesthetic — vintage, glamorous, romantic and classical — could be so much more and clearly fits across product categories. But Neil didn’t have the relationships and expertise that ABG has to take his brand to the next level virtually overnight. There are a number of good brand development, management and licensing companies out there — Iconix, Sequential Brands, Marquee Brands, Saban Lifestyle Brands, Bluestar Alliance, CAA-GBG, to name but a few — but ABG has a track record of growing high-end brands like Judith Leiber and Hickey Freeman. And their consumer product sourcing and retail relationships span the globe. This was a match made in heaven.”In other ABG news, the company named a couple of key executives to new positions. Corey Salter, Jamie Salter’s son, has been named cochief business officer and executive vice president of celebrity and entertainment; John Erlandson has been named cochief business officer and executive vice president of business development; Jarrod Weber, executive vice president of brand; Ken Ohashi, executive vice president of lifestyle; and Christina Martin, senior vice president of lifestyle.The company also created two new groups under its marketing umbrella, spearheaded by Natasha Fishman, executive vice president of marketing: a digital innovation group led by Adam Kronengold, and a brand experience group led by Brock Doerr.ABG owns or operates more than 27 brands with retail sales of around $5.5 billion.
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