After Splitting With Kering, Stella McCartney Is Now Owned By Bernard Arnault’s LVMH
LONDON — In March 2018, DM Fashion Book reported that Stella McCartney brought back a 50% stake in her eponymous brand from Kering, ending her 17-year partnership (see it here).
A year and four months after taking full ownership of her namesake label, McCartney sold a stake of her label to France’s other luxury giant, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.
Full details will be revealed in September, according to LVMH.
McCartney’s is the second female-run fashion house that LVMH has taken on board this year, after the owner of Louis Vuitton, Dior, Marc Jacobs, Givenchy, and Fendi set up a luxury maison with singer and entrepreneur Rihanna under the Fenty label this past May 2019 (see it here). The singer became the first woman to create an original brand at LVMH, the first woman of color at the top of an LVMH maison, and her line was the first new house created by the group since Christian Lacroix in 1987.
LVMH said that Stella McCartney would continue as creative director and ambassador of her brand, while holding majority ownership.
In addition, she will hold a specific position and role on sustainability, as special adviser to LVMH chairman and chief executive officer Bernard Arnault and the executive committee members.
Her venture with Kering was 50-50, and the two parted ways amicably last year as Kering began restructuring its portfolio.
McCartney decided she didn’t want to hand over control to Kering, preferring to seek a new partner.
LVMH said the goal of the partnership will be for the house of Stella McCartney to accelerate its worldwide development in terms of business and strategy, “while of course remaining faithful to its long-lasting commitment to sustainability and ethical fashion.”
The company added that LVMH and Stella McCartney “are delighted to open this new chapter together.”
Arnault said he was “extremely happy” about the new partnership.
“It is the beginning of a beautiful story together, and we are convinced of the great long-term potential of her house. A decisive factor was that she was the first to put sustainability and ethical issues on the front stage, very early on, and built her house around these constraints. It emphasizes LVMH Groups’ commitment to sustainability,” he said.
Arnault added that LVMH was the first large company in France to create a sustainability department, more than 25 years ago, “and Stella will help us further increase awareness on these important topics.”
McCartney said since she revealed her decision to take full ownership of her brand in March 2018, “there have been many approaches from various parties expressing their wish to partner and invest in the Stella McCartney.”
According to sources, potential investors, ranging from private equity to trade buyers and private individuals, were buzzing around McCartney, over social media, on the school run and at private and public events from the minute she revealed the split with Kering.
“While these approaches were interesting, none could match the conversation I had with Bernard Arnault and his son Antoine. The passion and commitment they expressed toward the Stella McCartney brand alongside their belief in the ambitions and our values as the global leader in sustainable luxury fashion was truly impressive,” she said.
McCartney said the chance to realize and accelerate “the full potential of the brand alongside Mr. Arnault and as part of the LVMH family, while still holding the majority ownership in the business, was an opportunity that hugely excited me. Partnering with Mr. Arnault, his family and LVMH is a big step for me and my family, but also the team at Stella McCartney. The brand has achieved so much since its launch, and this new partnership with LVMH is recognition of that work, but this I feel is just the start, and I look forward to a brilliant future together.”
The closing of this partnership is subject to the usual conditions, in particular the approval of the competition authorities, LVMH said.
Photos Credit: Mary McCartney