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G-III to acquire iconic Parisian luxury label Sonia Rykiel

By Huw Hughes

Sep 23, 2021

Management

Sonia Rykiel

US fashion group G-III Apparel has announced plans to acquire iconic Parisian luxury label Sonia Rykiel for an undisclosed sum.

G-III, whose portfolio already includes brands DKNY, Donna Karan and Vilebrequin, said it aims to “accelerate the relaunch of the brand primarily in Europe” for autumn 2022, with collections across multiple categories.

Morris Goldfarb, chairman and CEO of G-III, said there is a “significant opportunity to unlock the untapped potential of this brand as we look to accelerate our global reach”, and that the move would allow the group to “further expand into the luxury space”.

“We will leverage the existing executive management team and infrastructure based in Europe, as well as G-III’s supply chain expertise to scale and grow the Sonia Rykiel business across apparel, accessories and numerous other lifestyle categories,” Goldfarb said.

A new chapter for Sonia Rykiel

Sonia Rykiel was founded in 1968 in Paris by the designer of the same name - who died in 2016 at the age of 86.

Beginning its days as a humble boutique, the label rose in popularity to eventually become an icon of the luxury womenswear scene, favoured not only for its designs - lots of knitwear, bold colours and trademark stripes - but for becoming a champion of the liberation and spirit of the modern woman.

Rykiel came to be dubbed ‘Queen of Knits’ for her knitted pieces, such as the particularly popular boxy ‘Poor Boy Sweater’ donned by the likes of Audrey Hepburn.

But it’s been a bumpy ride for the brand in recent years. In 2019, after several years of troubled trading, the company went into liquidation. Fast forward to last year, and the brand was bought by Eric and Michaël Dayan.

“We are proud to have been a part of this brand which has a deep French heritage and to be the drivers behind its relaunch,” the pair commented on Thursday.

“We are thrilled to have found G-III, a true apparel and accessory powerhouse with a strong portfolio of globally recognized brands, as the new owners and stewards of the Sonia Rykiel brand.”

The transaction is expected to close by the end of October.