- Kristopher Fraser |
New York - First there was the revival of Vionnet, then there was the revival of Schiapparelli, and up next could be the revival of a fashion house that hasn't done business in almost 80 years: Paul Poiret. Shinsegae International, considered the retail giant of South Korea, have so far focused primarily on domestic business, but, their plan to acquire the Paul Poiret trademark could be a sign that they are ready to tackle the international market.
The company is expected to first launch fragrances and beauty products ahead of the launch into fashion and accessories, according to Pierre Mallevays, Managing Director of London-based Savigny Partners, the boutique M&A firm that spearheaded the transaction, representing the seller, Luvanis SA. For those fashion purists who might be terrified of what a new company could do with a dormant but renowned French fashion house, fear not, because they will be building and developing it out of Paris. As Shinsegae International faces a sluggish domestic partner, they are looking to expand their business globally.
Legendary French fashion house Paul Poiret to be revived
While financial terms regarding the Paul Poiret transaction are being held tightly under wraps, it is believed that the transaction will be somewhere in the single digit millions. Harold Choi, President and CEO of Shinsegae International, said in a statement that Poiret “bridged fashion with the art world and invented much of what is still taking place in fashion today. We look forward to working to create today’s version of the brand across several product categories.”
Shinsegage International has its own high-end brands include Vov and Vidi Vici, and their portfolio of international luxury brands includes Givenchy, Moncler, Brunello Cuccinelli, and Celine. Luvanis SA is a company that has made a business of reviving dormant fashion houses. They were actually the company behind the reintroduction of Vionnet ready-to-wear in 2006, and they also sold Moynat, a high-end trunk making company from the 19th century to Group Arnault.
Poiret was once dubbed the "King of Fashion" between 1904 and 1924, and was famous for his harem pants, kimono coats, and hobble skirts. He was once one of the primary competitors to iconic fashion designer Coco Chanel, but after WWI he refused to change his aesthetic and evolve with the times, losing ground to her and the other Parisian fashion houses who were daring to push the boundaries. He died in 1944 after several years of illness and poverty.
Poiret still has a cult following among the fashion crowd who are still fascinated by his industry and designs. In 2007, the Metropolitan Museum of Art organized an exhibit dedicated to his work which traced the important of his wife Denise's influence on his career in the 1910s. It may have taken 80 years, but now the once celebrated fashion house is making a comeback.