A Twinset look for spring/summer 2017

MILAN — Simona Barbieri has left her role as creative director and director of Twin Set-Simona Barbieri, selling the remaining 10 percent stake in her namesake company. As a result, The Carlyle Group now has 100 percent control of the Italian fashion brand. Financial details were not disclosed.

Alessandro Varisco, chief executive officer of Twin Set, praised Barbieri as “a talented designer with a very distinctive vision.” The executive, who joined the Italian company in July 2015 from Moschino, where he held the same role, said Twin Set “continues to perform well and we are strongly committed to further enhance the brand’s values, product offering and boost global presence, leveraging Carlyle’s high industry expertise and strong international network.”
Marco De Benedetti, managing director and co-head, Carlyle Europe Partners, emphasized “the objectives achieved” with Barbieri and said “Carlyle strongly believes in Twin Set’s potential and I am convinced that the management team will continue to develop the brand’s international positioning and grow the business successfully.”
The spring collection will be designed in the interim by the brand’s in-house team.

The owner’s goal is to proceed “in continuity,” but is also evaluating a possible evolution of the brand’s moniker.

The Carlyle Group first acquired 70 percent of Twin Set in 2012, upping its stake to 90 percent in 2015.

Founded in 1990 in Carpi, Italy, Twin Set operates in the accessible luxury women’s wear segment.

Established as a knitwear company, the brand now comprises total look collections. At the end of 2015, revenues were 237 million euros, or $260.7 million, at average exchange rates.

The Italian market accounted for about 64 percent of sales in 2015 and the retail channel represented 34 percent of the total. At the end of 2015, the company had a direct sales network of 67 stores, of which 45 were in Italy and 22 outside the country, in Germany, France, Spain, Belgium and Russia.

In February during Milan Fashion Week, model and actress Emily Ratajkowski caused a stir with her appearance in Twin Set Simona Barbieri’s Milan store to launch the brand’s spring ad campaign. The new Twin Set campaign tells the story of two friends’ journey — Ratajkowski and Sasha Pivovarova — and was photographed in Santa Barbara, Calif., by Giampaolo Sgura. Edward Enninful styled the campaign.



Carlyle recently added its fourth significant investment in the European fashion and apparel sector following previous investments in Twin Set, Moncler and Dutch lingerie firm Hunkemöller International BV with the acquisition of the Golden Goose Deluxe Brand.

Barbieri is the latest designer to exit a brand she founded and follows the departures of Dondup cofounder and creative designer Manuela Mariotti, who in March left the company after 18 years at the helm, and that of Marni cofounder Consuelo Castiglioni in October, in the wake of OTB’s acquisition of the firm in 2015.  The company Mariotti founded with Massimo Berloni is controlled by L Catterton and, in September, former Valentino chairman Matteo Marzotto invested in Dondup, becoming its president. Stakes in Dondup were first acquired by the European arm of L Capital in 2009 and then by L Capital Asia in 2015 (L Capital is now part of L Catterton).

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