NEW YORK — Could Elie Saab be the next red-carpet luxury brand to attract outside funding?According to market sources, representatives for the Beirut-based fashion house have been putting out feelers to potential investors as it seeks to ramp up its international expansion.The development comes only a week after Michael Kors Holding Ltd. acquired Jimmy Choo for $1.35 billion, suggesting luxury brands are capable of attracting high multiples despite a general decline in M&A activity in the sector.Officials at Elie Saab were not immediately available to comment.The brand has been expanding its product categories and retail footprint, with recent ventures including a bridal collection, launched last year, and new flagship boutiques in London and New York.Though best known for cocktail and eveningwear, Saab in recent years has grown its assortment of ready-to-wear and accessories, branching out into sunglasses via a license with Italy’s Safilo Group in 2015 and recently launching a follow-up to its debut fragrance Le Parfum called Girl of Now.The company also operates freestanding boutiques in Dubai, Beirut, Hong Kong and Paris, where the designer has shown his couture since 2000 and rtw since 2005.In an interview with WWD last September, he said he was looking at additional options in Asia and the U.S., with retail already accounting for about half of the rtw business. “We would like to have about 20 flagships,” Saab said.He said the privately held firm had been tracking an average growth rate of 35 percent in recent years, far outpacing the moderate pace logged by most of Europe’s major luxury players. He stressed that couture remains the backbone of the business, accounting for a quarter of its revenues.The company employs 400 seamstresses in Beirut, about half of them dedicated to couture and based in the headquarters. Other ateliers are dedicated to rtw, beaded pieces and eveningwear. Production of daywear and cocktail is done mostly in Italy.
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)
Breaking News: @hedislimane joins @celine as its new artistic, creative and image director. One of fashion’s preeminent image-makers and trendsetters, Slimane is to join the LVMH brand on Feb. 1 and unveil his first fashion proposition for men and women next September during Paris Fashion Week. It marks a major homecoming for Slimane, who cemented his reputation – and influenced men’s tailoring for more than a decade – as the designer of Dior Homme between 2000 and 2007. He went on to reinvent and ignite the house of Yves Saint Laurent, which he rechristened Saint Laurent, between 2012 and 2016 – all the while maintaining a close relationship with the Arnault family, which controls LVMH and Dior. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
“Personally I believe the Eighties have been the richest and more vivacious period for international fashion,” Giorgio Armani said when asked what his favorite decade of fashion is. It was a moment of disruption and experimentation and only thinking back to the first years of that decade is always an emotion for me, for what they have meant to me and my work.” The influence is clear in @giorgioarmani spring 2018 collection, pictured here, which was full of bright colors and unexpected prints. Read more about which decades designers loved most on WWD.com #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
For Lady Gaga’s only Italian show on her “Joanne World Tour,” the singer wore a range of @versace_official outfits. The standout piece: this custom-made bodysuit inspired by the brand’s spring 2018 collection. #wwdfashion (RG: @ladygaga)
@_camillaruth_ is expanding on the wellness-craze concept with @westbourne – a new NYC restaurant that’s both a healthy-minded café as well as a business that gives back to the community. Marcus works with the Robin Hood foundation to give back to The Door, a non-profit providing youth development services, and also hires employees through The Door. Read our full interview with Marcus on giving back through food on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)