La Perla Spring 2018

MILANFosun International is looking at purchasing a controlling stake in La Perla.

The investment company has agreed to complete an exclusive due diligence of the Italian lingerie firm with parent company Pacific Global Management for a period of 30 business days.  The conclusion of the deal is subject to Fosun’s Investment Committee approval. “Fosun’s vision for La Perla is to continue investing in the brand to develop its full potential as a global luxury fashion house leveraging its unique heritage, craftsmanship skills and existing management team,” said the investment company.

Pacific Global Management, helmed by Italian entrepreneur Silvio Scaglia, bought La Perla in 2013 at an auction. Pacific Global Management is also parent to model agency Elite World international network of modeling agencies Elite, Women Management, The Society among others. In addition, Scaglia is executive chairman and the principal investor in Yewno, an emerging artificial intelligence company in Silicon Valley.

Scaglia has been on a mission to grow La Perla’s lifestyle offering and expand its retail footprint. Last year, for example, the company reopened its Madison Avenue store, which was redesigned by architect Roberto Baciocchi to accommodate newer categories including men’s sleepwear, underwear and women’s sunglasses.

In 2016, La Perla hired Julia Haart as the brand’s creative director, following Pedro Lourenço. Haart’s second collection for the brand debuted at New York Fashion Week, working British gardens’ floral motifs throughout the sexy and feminine lineup. Haart has been working hard to raise the profile of La Perla’s corset jacket, which the company touts “can go from the boardroom to evening.” It’s a cornerstone of Haart’s reinvention of the Italian innerwear brand, which includes ready-to-wear, sleepwear, beachwear and accessories. La Perla tapped Kendall Jenner for the brand’s ad campaign, launched earlier this year and photographed by Steven Klein, also featuring Isabeli Fontana and Liu Wen.

In 2015, La Perla’s first Atelier collection showed during Couture Fashion Week in Paris. In June 2014, the company relaunched its men’s wear division at Pitti Uomo.

Last April, the company inked a five-year licensing agreement with fragrance manufacturer and distributor CB Beauty. That deal includes the development, production and distribution of La Perla’s beauty portfolio, starting from the worldwide launch of a new scent, La Mia Perla, which means “My Pearl” in Italian.

La Perla was founded by Ada Masotti in 1954 and was headed by her son Alberto Masotti until the sale in 2007 to San Francisco-based private equity firm JH Partners, which took full control of the group in 2008 and exited in 2013.

Fosun was founded in 1992 in Shanghai and is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The owner of Club Med, Fosun’s other investment in Italy and fashion includes men’s wear brand Caruso. Fosun first bought a 35 percent stake in Caruso in 2008, acquiring a majority stake last month.

In July, rumors swirled that Scaglia was negotiating with Megha Mittal, the daughter-in-law of billionaire steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal and representative of the Mittal family, but the speculation was firmly denied by the Italian entrepreneur. 

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