PARIS – Mode et Finance, the French venture capital firm managed by Bpifrance, has taken a minority stake in Lemaire, the Paris-based label that is poised to launch its first collaboration with Japanese retailer Uniqlo this fall.
This story first appeared in the September 15, 2015 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Headed by Christophe Lemaire, former creative director for women’s wear at Hermès, and his partner Sarah-Linh Tran, the label is known for timeless women’s and men’s creations, with inspirations ranging from traditional Asian clothing to workwear and Eighties tailoring.
The investment will allow Lemaire to bolster its product offering and continue its development in France and overseas, Bpifrance said.
Revenues are expected to top 7 million euros, or $7.9 million at current exchange, in the current financial year, according to Bastien Daguzan, who joined Lemaire as managing director in October 2013. The company saw its orders double between fall 2014 and fall 2015 and launched an e-commerce site in April.
Lemaire is widening its offer in leather goods and shoes, as well as expanding its men’s wear collection. Earlier this year, it presented its first pre-fall line.
The label is carried in around 130 points of sale worldwide, including online retailers Matchesfashion.com and Net-a-porter.com. Barneys New York, Liberty London and Galeries Lafayette in Paris all picked up the fall collection, and Seoul department store Galleria will unveil a pop-up shop on Wednesday.
Mode et Finance specializes in long-term investments in small and medium-size companies in the fashion and luxury sectors that are profitable, generate revenues of at least 500,000 euros, or $650,000 at current exchange, and show strong potential for international growth.
Brands that have benefited from the company’s financial investment in the past include Yiqing Yin, Each x Other, Ami, Nicolas Andreas Taralis, Bouchra Jarrar, Maison Martin Margiela, A.F. Vandevorst, Anne Valérie Hash and Pollux.