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LVMH Invests in Gabriela Hearst’s ‘Luxury with a Conscience’

Gabriela Hearst has joined the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton family.

Hearst’s four-year-old eponymous brand announced last week that it has received a minority investment from LVMH Luxury Ventures, a subgroup of the French multinational luxury conglomerate that invests in emerging fashion, cosmetics or accessories companies with sales of between 2 million and 5 million euros ($2.26 million to $5.6 million) and high-growth potential.

“The aim is to accompany financially the development of these small nuggets to create value,” an LVMH spokesman said in 2017, when the fund launched.

While terms of the deal were not disclosed, LVMH Luxury Ventures is expected to infuse between 2 million euros to 10 million euros ($11.4 million) into the women’s ready-to-wear label.

Hearst has garnered plaudits and accolades for her work, which she has described as “luxury with a conscience” and “honest luxury.” The brand was a grand prize winner of the International Woolmark Award and a finalist for the 2018 CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year Award.

It’s profitable, too, racking up sales of more than $10 million. Last March, the company opened a permanent showroom in Paris. In November, Hearst debuted a 2,000-square-foot flagship store, her first, at the Carlyle House on Madison Avenue in New York City.

Celebrity attention hasn’t hurt, either: Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, has been spotted toting her bags, and actress Glenn Close donned a custom Gabriela Hearst silk blazer and skirt at the 24th annual Critics’ Choice Awards this month. Lady Gaga, Demi Moore and Amal Clooney have also been photographed wearing the brand’s looks.

Hearst’s pieces, as she has said, “don’t scream for attention, but show a presence.”

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This is the third investment for LVMH Luxury Ventures, which previously poured money into French apothecary brand l’Officine Universelle Buly and sneaker reseller Stadium Goods (which was snapped up by Farfetch last month).

The Council of Fashion Designers of America called the buy-in “significant” for LVMH, because it’s the first investment in an American fashion brand since Donna Karan and Marc Jacobs.

“If there’s been a sense that LVMH has struggled to understand American fashion—in a rare move, it divested Donna Karan in 2016—the investment in Gabriela Hearst is a definite vote of confidence in American creativity,” wrote Marc Karimzadeh, the trade group’s editorial and communications director, in a blog post. “The investment could also fill the void left by Phoebe Philo at Celine for women in need of a luxurious and sophisticated collection to satisfy their sartorial needs.”