July 23, 2016

Marant set to grow with Montefiore

The French investment fund has announced its first acquisition in the fashion segment, taking on a 51% stake in the Parisian label, worth over 300 million euros according to market estimates, in order to support its development

di Ludovica Tofanelli

Marant set to grow with Montefiore

Isabel Marant is writing a new chapter in its history. The Parisian label, founded by the designer in 1994, has officially passed into the hands of Montefiore Investment and is getting ready for a new growth phase. As anticipated by MFF (see the 25 June issue), the brand had already started to test the waters in search of a partner ready to invest in its development. Its quest has therefore concluded with its acquisition by the French fund, which began talks with Isabel Marant in June, signing an exclusive agreement that has given it a 51% stake in the brand over the last few days, while the remaining 49% of the capital remains in the hands of the designer Isabel Marant, Nathalie Chemouny and the brand’s managing director Sophie Duruflé. There has been no official announcement of the amount of capital injected by Montefiore, although market estimates value the label at more than 300 million dollars. On the other hand, Isabel Marant is already an established name with a turnover of 150 million euros and a distribution network that includes twenty-two single-brand boutiques, nine of which it runs directly, as well as a presence in over 800 multibrand stores worldwide. A solid platform that is also based on a prêt-à-porter main collection, presented during Paris fashion week, the younger Étoile line and a sophisticated range of accessories, with a particular focus on footwear. This marks a new course for Isabel Marant, but also for Montefiore Investment itself. In fact, the French investment fund is making its debut in the world of fashion with this transaction. It currently controls a wide and diversified range of businesses, none of which have direct links with fashion. They include investments in hospitality with B&B and Homair vacances, as well as interior design firms like Sofibo, car hire firms such as Auto escape and even drink distributors such as Lyovel. The new acquisition aims to speed up development at Isabel Marant, both in terms of distribution and products. All this will be done while preserving the label’s DNA and following the same stylistic direction adopted to date, leaving the reins firmly in the hands of the designer and founder, but boosting the creative team that works alongside her on all the lines. The plans include the implementation of an online sales channel and the launch of e-commerce. This project, announced a few months ago, should see the light in 2017 thanks to the partnership with the Yoox Net-a-porter group, with which Isabel Marant has signed a five-year agreement for the global development and management of its first online shop platform (see MFF 13 May). The focus will then switch to expanding the offer for consumers. The label currently specialises in ready-to-wear and footwear, but there are plans to explore new areas such as eyewear, fragrances, and even menswear in the future.