CONFIRMED: Stella McCartney Takes Full Control Of Her Eponymous Brand, Buying Out Kering
LONDON — Stella McCartney is back to an one woman army after buying back a 50% stake in her eponymous brand. Last January DM Fashion Book reported that French luxury conglomerate Kering was selling its 50% share of Stella McCartney back to the namesake designer (see it here) and then in February we mentioned that a formal transition process was already in motion, according to a source with first-hand knowledge of the matter (see it here).
Today Wednesday (March 28), we could confirmed that the designer is ending her partnership with Kering after 17 years. She decided to buy back the French‘s giant 50% stake in her brand in a bid to safeguard her name for the future and build an independent business.
Last month McCartney, who holds the other 50% stake, confirmed she was mulling her future with Kering: She has a long-standing clause in her contract giving her the option to re-purchase Kering’s stake, exercisable by March 31 of this year.
In an exclusive interview with WWD, McCartney said buying out Kering and developing a stand-alone business was an opportunity she couldn’t turn down. Her relationship with Kering, she added, will steam ahead: McCartney plans to remain a board member of the Kering Foundation and will continue to collaborate with the French luxury giant on sustainability in fashion.
“I have had an incredible relationship with Kering, and first and foremost with the Pinault family, whom I consider to be great friends. I’m incredibly close to them. We had such a successful business together, an incredible partnership. We never had any hiccups,” said McCartney during an interview from her airy new offices near Westfield London.
Stella McCartney launched her namesake label in 2001 as a joint venture with the Gucci Group (once a subsidiary of what is now known as Kering), at the time run by chief executive Domenico De Sole and Tom Ford, who designed both Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent. (McCartney joined from Chloé after a short but well-received stint as creative director.) Alexander McQueen joined the group in 2000.
In the statement released this evening after the Paris and London stock markets closed, François-Henri Pinault, chairman and chief executive officer of Kering, said it was time for McCartney to move to the next stage.
“Kering is a luxury group that empowers creative minds and helps disruptive ideas become reality. I am extremely proud of what Kering and Stella McCartney have accomplished together since 2001,” he said, adding that the designer and her team brought far more than business to Kering.
“Stella knows she can always count on my friendship and support,” he said. Both parties have promised a “smooth transition” in order to maintain the brand’s momentum in the market.
McCartney said she and Kering had “worked for a long time” exploring their future options “and this is where it’s panned out. It has been a dream to work with them. ”
“McCartney declined to comment on how she plans to finance the buyback, although it is understood her famous father Paul McCartney will not bankroll any deal. She added there were no plans for an initial public offering and no plans to take on a new business partner right now, although industry sources say that prospective investors have been circling and McCartney has been conducting exploratory talks.”
Photos Credit: Mary McCartney
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Donovan is the CEO and Editor-In-Chief of www.dmfashionbook.com. For all general inquiries please email firstname.lastname@example.org Donovan has a BA in Journalism & Media Studies from the prestigious Rutgers University. He's currently studying entertainment and fashion law.