PARIS Feb 21 LVMH, the world's
biggest luxury group, unveiled its first acquisition in fashion
in four years on Thursday when it took a minority stake in
young French fashion brand Maxime Simoens for an undisclosed
As part of the deal, Sidney Toledano, chief executive of
LVMH's biggest fashion brand Christian Dior, will coach the
28-year-old designer and his staff of ten.
The LVMH group, which owns Louis Vuitton, Celine, Fendi and
Kenzo, said in an emailed statement it wished to "accompany the
development of this young talented French designer."
The deal comes after LVMH rival PPR announced last
month it was acquiring control of British brand Christopher Kane
to reinforce its stable of fashion brands which include Stella
McCartney and Alexander McQueen.
LVMH had not made any acquisition in the fashion industry
since 2009 when it took a 49-percent stake in Edun, the
Africa-centred brand founded by Ali Hewson and U2 singer Bono.
The Simoens deal provides further evidence of a pick-up in
consolidation in the luxury fashion sector driven by
expectations of growth in Asia and North America and solid
demand from travellers in Europe.
Maxime Simoens, known for his modern and graphic style,
created his own brand in 2009 after working for a number of
designers including Elie Saab, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Christian
Dior and Balenciaga.
"This partnership endorsement will allow the house
to develop my creative vision internationally. It's like a new
kick off!," Simoens said in a statement.
The French designer, who graduated from the Chambre
Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne, started taking part in the
Paris calendar of couture shows in Jan. 2011.
The brand has been sold in some 20 multi-brand stores around
the world, including Montaigne Market and Maria Luisa in Paris.
Maxime Simoens will unveil his first ready-to-wear
collection on March 3 together with his first bag and shoes
(Reporting by Astrid Wendlandt; Editing by Mark Potter)