Fashion Brands Jason Wu And Derek Lam Are Looking For New Investors

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Jason Wu spring/summer 2019 Ready-To-Wear.

UNITED STATES — Two fashion brands are looking for new investors.

Jason Wu is considering a deal with a Chinese backer and Derek Lam is out in the market looking for a new investor.

Cliff Moskowitz, president of InterLuxe, which is backed by Lee Equity and acquired a majority stake in Wu’s business in 2014, said: “While we are not currently looking to raise capital, we are speaking to a partner in Asia about a potential partnership. We are fortunate that a number of Asian investors have expressed interest given the importance of the Asian market for luxury brands.”

Derek Lam spokeswoman and Ken Suslow from Sandbridge Capital, which took a stake in Lam in 2014, both declined to comment.

Wu and Lam join a growing list of midsized fashion companies that either want to make a move, are looking to reposition or simply need to do something as their backers prepare to move on.

While the big names like Gucci and Louis Vuitton continue to thrive, many smaller designer names have struggled to compete on the global market. At the same time, the brands founded in the Aughts are no longer the fresh faces on the scene.

The big strategic players — including LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and Kering — have been in the market steadily and taken a look at most brands as they have grown and traded in the past. They’re still buying, but of a newer vintage. LVMH Luxury Ventures, for instance, took a minority stake in the four-year-old Gabriela Hearst in January.

Smaller private-equity-backed designer brands do not have the financial resources to rival storied brands like Gucci, Vuitton, Celine or Saint Laurent, where the designers are extremely well-backed, allowing their ideas to come to live in every way from the clothes to the stores to the events,” said Kim Vernon, president and chief executive officer of the Vernon Company consultancy. “Despite their talent, [the smaller brands] don’t have the resources to compete in today’s luxury designer market.”

Basically, many of the designer brands in the market simply need more money to reach their potential.

Jason Wu has already started build connections in China.

According to S&P Capital IQ, Jason Wu linked with Chinese firm Zhejiang Semir Garment Co. in the fall. The company agreed to buy an 11 percent stake in Wu for $5 million.

Jason Wu spring/summer 2019 Ready-To-Wear.

Jason Wu spring/summer 2019 Ready-To-Wear.

Photos Credit: Jan Lehner / Courtesy of Jason Wu

Source: WWD

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Donovan

Donovan is the CEO and Editor-In-Chief of www.dmfashionbook.com. For all general inquiries please email don@dmfashionbook.com Donovan has a BA in Journalism & Media Studies from the prestigious Rutgers University. He's currently studying entertainment and fashion law.

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