London - Diane von Furstenberg is currently seeking out a new investor to take a stake in her brand DVF in order to help fund a new expansion scheme. The designer confirmed previous rumors concerning the potential sale of a stake in her company, stressing it was time to seek out a new management team.
“I’m not selling the business, but the time has come for me to bring in management that the company deserves. I have decided that we probably will sell an equity stake,” said Von Furstenberg to WWD. The designer aims to hire Michel Dyens & Co, an independent investment banking firm located in Paris and New York, to handle its search for a new investor. The two companies share a history, as Dyens handled the sale of DVF cosmetic company to Beecham Group in 1983.
Von Furstenberg believes that Dyens will be able to find an investor with the correct expertise to help leverage the brand and hire the leadership is needs to “be disruptive in the digital world” and create a true legacy. “The brand is very clean. To go into a digital world, it has a lot of potential. We have not had a CEO for a year and I wanted Jonathan [Saunders, chief creative officer] to have a clean palette. Now it’s time to have leadership. It should no longer be exclusively a family business,” she said.
In addition to seeking out a new investor, von Furstenberg has also asked Paula Sutter, former President of DVF Studio, to rejoin the company’s board next year, The move comes as DVF, which has been without a Chief Executive Officer since November 2016 when Paolo Rival left, faces a number of challenges as its presence in department stores wanes. The brand is no longer stocked at Bloomingdale’s for example, but is still available ins stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Selfridges and Bergdorf Goodman.
At the moment DVF counts more than 140 stores across the globe, with key stores in the US, China, the Middle East, London and Paris.
Photo: Courtesy of MasterClass