LONDON — Peter Jensen is changing gears: The London-based Danish designer has sold his company to South Korea’s Pastel World Co. Ltd., and plans to stay on as a consultant as he takes up a separate career in academia, WWD has learned.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Production of the collections will cease temporarily, although existing pieces will continue to be sold online and in stores. Jensen and his business partner Gerard Wilson will continue to work closely with Pastel World.
“We will work with Pastel World on making the collections and items right in terms of the Peter Jensen vibe. The pieces will look like something we would have done,” said Jensen, a Central Saint Martins graduate who established his label in 1999.
Of his decision to sell, Jensen said: “We felt it was the right time after 18 years — and a lot of collections — to move on and try new things.” Known for his bunny motif and his breezy, youthful silhouettes with a bohemian twist and lots of print and color, Jensen said the offer from Pastel World “came at the right moment, and it’s given us freedom to take time off.”
The label is stocked in more than 150 stores worldwide, and will continue to expand under Pastel World, which manufactures men’s and boy’s wear. Pastel World is planning to open five stand-alone Peter Jensen stores this year.
Later this year, the designer plans to venture into academia with a full-time position running the BA and MA departments as associate chair of fashion at Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia.
“We couldn’t have done it without all you kind people who have loved and cared for us and appreciated our unique vision! A sincere thank you,” Jensen and Wilson said earlier this week.
Following the acquisition, Jensen plans to donate archival pieces to a number of art and academic institutions including London’s V&A museum, Central St. Martins and international foundations such as Design Museum Denmark and FIT in New York.
Jensen began showing as part of London Fashion Week in 2001 and later quit the catwalk, opting for showroom appointments or themed shoots. One season he dressed a bevy of Yoko Ono look-alikes in his collection while Sandy Dennis, Peggy Guggenheim and Miss Jean Brodie have also served as muses.