Dries Van Noten Is Seeking An Investor

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Dries Van Noten Spring 2018 Ready To Wear.

BELGIUM — Belgian fashion designer Dries Van Noten is seeking an investor. DM Fashion Book has learned that the designer hired Elsa Berry’s VendĂŽme Global Partners to bring in an investor. It is understood a number of discussions have taken place in recent weeks with a variety of potential partners.

Like many Belgian designers, Van Noten has resisted most of the common paths to growth, forgoing pre-collections, advertising, celebrity dressing and a handbag push — although he enjoys a substantial following for his footwear.

“Our business doesn’t have to grow every year a huge amount like when you are a part of a big group,” he said in a 2013 interview with WWD. “I don’t need to have a store in every city. It’s a luxury that I can say I just want to continue the way that we are doing
to be creative and be busy with things I really love and not be forced to do all the bags and the shoes and the sunglasses and things like that.”

He also doesn’t make fragrances, another cash cow for luxury brands.

That professional prudence might leave the designer in good stead as he seeks to bring in an investor. Private equity companies, in particular, look for brands that have established themselves and proven they can work in multiple geographies, but still have plenty of room for expansion,” said WWD.

One source estimates the size of Van Noten’s business — which is hinged mainly on ready-to-wear for women and men, and wholesale distribution — south of $100 million.

Van Noten counts boutiques in cities including Antwerp, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Paris and Seoul, some with partners, while key retail clients include Barneys New York, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Le Bon Marché, Harrods, Lane Crawford, Harvey Nichols and Shinsegae.

Van Noten, one of the original Antwerp Six, comes from a family of tailors and is a graduate of Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts.

He launched his eponymous label with men’s wear in 1986, and established his flagship store in his hometown in 1989, known as Het Modepaleis and located on the site of a historic department store.

Among honors, the Council of Fashion Designers of America awarded Van Noten its International Designer of the Year Award in 2008. More recently, he has been decorated by Fashion Group International, the Couture Council of the Museum at FIT and the Flemish Royal Academy of Belgium.

Dries Van Noten Spring 2018 Menswear.

Dries Van Noten Spring 2018 Ready To Wear.

Dries Van Noten Spring 2018 Menswear.

Photos Credit: Kim Weston Arnold / Indigital.tv and Yannis Vlamos / Indigital.tv

Source: WWD

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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.