Montefiore Investment acquires Isabel Marant
French fashion label Isabel Marant confirmed that 51 percent of its capital has been sold to Montefiore Investment. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Citing Isabel Marant’s “tremendous untapped potential,” Henri Topiol, a principal at the French investment fund, told WWD the plan is to develop the brand’s online and bricks-and-mortar networks.
“We’re convinced there is still room to grow in new territories, both geographically and in terms of product categories,” he continued. “Isabel Marant today is focused on ready-to-wear and shoes, and we believe that a brand of this stature could have an accessories range in the first stage and then maybe develop new categories — such as perfume or eyewear, or possibly men’s wear at some point. These are things we would like to explore.”
Forty-nine percent of the brand’s capital remains in the hands of its original partners, Isabel Marant, Nathalie Chemouny and Sophie Duruflé, the label’s managing director.
Founded in 1994, the label is credited with inventing the bohemian Parisienne hipster-meets-tomboy look. With quilted jackets and skinny motorcycle pants among its signatures, cult hits include the wedge sneaker, launched in 2012 that spurred a sea of knock-offs and became one of the recent defining footwear trends.
Last year, Isabel Marant posted wholesale revenues of 150 million euros, or $166.5 million at average exchange rates, of which more than 80 percent was generated abroad.
The brand over the past few years has been ramping up its global retail expansion and today counts 800 points of sale worldwide. That includes 22 freestanding boutiques, of which nine are directly operated. Isabel Marant’s collaboration with Swedish high-street retailer H&M in 2013 further boosted the label’s global profile.
The deal marks the first investment in fashion for Montefiore, whose portfolio includes budget hotel chain B&B Hotels, car-hire broker Auto Escape and marketing and opinion research firm BVA.