Though a statement from LVMH Monday said the new partners “will detail the full scope of this deal in September,” it did note that McCartney will retain majority ownership of the brand and continue to serve as creative director and ambassador. The transaction is subject to the usual closing conditions, including the approval of the “competition authorities.”
According to LVMH, the goal of the partnership will be for the “Stella McCartney House to accelerate its worldwide development in terms of business and strategy, while of course remaining faithful to its long-lasting commitment to sustainable and ethical luxury fashion.”
Bernard Arnault, chairman and chief executive office of LVMH, said, “I am extremely happy with this partnership with Stella. It is the beginning of a beautiful story together, and we are convinced of the great long-term potential of her House. A decisive factor was that she was the first to put sustainability and ethical issues on the front stage, very early on, and build her House around these issues. It emphasizes LVMH Groups’ commitment to sustainability.”
Adding to that, Arnault noted that LVMH was the first major company in France to create a sustainability department more than 25 years ago, and the luxury house expects the Stella McCartney brand will help it continue to increase awareness around its eco-friendly efforts.
Under the new partnership, McCartney also will hold a specific position and role on sustainability as special advisor to the LVMH chairman and the executive committee members.
McCartney reclaimed full ownership of her brand from LVMH competitor Kering in March 2018, after working with the luxury group since 2001. That partnership was structured with each holding a 50 percent stake, and the two parted ways during a time when Kering began reviewing the structure of its brand portfolio with an eye toward focusing on luxury. McCartney, under the terms of that venture, had the option to buy back the stake Kering held.
Since the split, she has had “many approaches” from different parties expressing an interest to partner and invest in the Stella McCartney House, but none of those conversations could “match” the one she had with Arnault and his son Antoine. “The passion and commitment they expressed toward the Stella McCartney brand alongside their belief in the ambitions and our values as the global leader in sustainable luxury fashion was truly impressive,” McCartney said.
The designer further added that the “chance to realize and accelerate the full potential of the brand alongside Mr. Arnault and as part of the LVMH family, while still holding the majority ownership in the business, was an opportunity that hugely excited me.”
The move is expected to be a boon for the Stella McCartney brand.
“The brand has achieved so much since its launch, and this new partnership with LVMH is recognition of that work, but this I feel is just the start, and I look forward to a brilliant future together,” McCartney said.