You step off the plane in your down jacket, experiencing that weird reality hit that comes with the end of the holiday: in the morning you have been cross-country skiing through woods – just you, your family and some wild turkeys – and eight hours later you are back in city traffic, and what happens? Investments. That’s what.
The rest of the US economy may be teetering on the fiscal cliff, Europe may be looking frim and luxury growth may be slowing, but in contemporary fashion, in America at least, things are getting off to a solid start. This morning, Rag & Bone, the hipster New York label, announced an investment by Irving Place Capital, the middle-market private equity fund, of about 25 per cent. Irving in the past has invested in Stuart Weitzman and denim brand Seven for all Mankind. And that follows two other such announcements by other labels.
The sum was not disclosed, but the money will be used to fund online and international expansion, managing partners Marcus Wainwright and David Neville said. (By the way, for anyone interested in more information, Mr Wainwright will be a speaker at the FT’s first mini-Business of Luxury Summit in New York on January 17.)
Meanwhile, on January 1, Tory Burch announced that not only would she and her ex-husband, Chris Burch, not be going to court to argue about their respective businesses, but that her business was also welcoming minority investors BDT Capital Partners and General Atlantic.
How minority, they would not say, and all the principals are still on vacation – lucky folks – but Byron Trott, chief executive of BDT, did issue this original statement as to why his group thought fashion was a good investment going forward: “Tory Burch is an iconic luxury lifestyle brand with incredible growth potential and we are excited and proud to partner with Tory and her talented team.”
And finally, just before Christmas, the Qatar Holding – yes, the guys who also own Harrod’s, a small bit of LVMH and recently set up a joint investment vehicle with the Italian government’s Fondo Strategico to invest in Made in Italy – upped their stake in jeweller Tiffany & Co from 5.2 per cent to 7.8 per cent.
What an action-packed way to ring in the new year. I know we are supposed to be nervous about what is to come businesswise in 2013, but judging by the first two days, well… someone thinks this sector is going to grow.
Hope everyone had a good holiday. I, for one, am excited to see what happens next.