LONDON — Compagnie Financière Richemont, parent of brands including Cartier, Dunhill, Lancel and Chloé, is set to report its first-half results on Friday morning, and there is no doubt that analysts and the press alike will be peppering company principals with questions about possible disposals in the firm’s soft luxury division.
However, according to an internal company memo seen by WWD and signed by Richemont’s chairman and principal shareholder Johann Rupert, there are no disposals or initial public offerings in the cards.
“It has been widely speculated that CF Richemont is planning to sell/dispose of various maisons…We are not going to comment on press speculation but, as the controlling shareholder, it is my pleasure to confirm to you that I have no intention of disposing of any maison. We also have no intention of taking any of our maisons public through an IPO,” the memo read.
“For over a quarter of a century, our shareholders have benefited from superior returns on their investments. This was achieved by careful planning and nurturing of the Brand Equity of our maisons.
“As the controlling shareholder, I have always supported you, the Heads of the maisons. Our dividend policy has been prudent — preferring to put the money to work inside the maisons.
“Through carefully nurturing our resources we have today over euro 3.8 billion [$5.13 billion] on our balance sheet. Our shareholders expect us to build brand equity and to create goodwill, not merely to buy it. Let us continue to build more great maisons.”
WWD has reported, citing industry sources, that Lancel, Net-a-porter and Chloé are being shopped around. Richemont has denied that Net-a-porter is for sale, and has so far declined to comment on other potential disposals.
Last week, Thomas Chauvet of Citigroup in London published a detailed report in which he said he expects Richemont to make a “complete exit” from fashion and accessories in a bid to refocus on its hard luxury brands. The aim would be to forge a more “homogenous” group that generates higher margins and capital returns.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast