Glossy – Control matters now more than ever for luxury brands, and Stella McCartney is forging her own path.
On Wednesday, WWD reported the brand was officially buying back Kering’s 50 percent stake to become an independently owned company. Rumors had swirled for months that Stella McCartney and Kering were in talks to end their 50-50 partnership, which was part of the brand’s initial launch in 2001.
“It was a stalemate,” said Ken Morris, retail consultant at Boston Retail Partners. “When both sides have equal control, there’s no tiebreaker, which can be an interesting scenario. Now she has the freedom to do as she pleases.”
The decision to buy back Kering’s stake in the brand comes after years of efforts to differentiate revenue and extend the business beyond women’s ready-to-wear, where it started. Since 2001, Stella McCartney brand has grown into a multi-pronged business, expanding to include handbags and footwear, children’s and menswear collections, an ongoing partnership with Adidas for activewear, an eyewear collection, a line of fragrances and beauty products distributed by Procter & Gamble, and a lingerie line in collaboration with Bendon.
“Responsible manufacturing is not a quick turnaround game,” said Morris. “No major overhaul is. That’s why you’re seeing a company like Nordstrom attempting to go private.”
Read full article: ‘It was a stalemate’: What a split from Kering means for Stella McCartney