Stella McCartney has signed a deal with France’s largest luxury group, LVMH, to “accelerate its worldwide development in terms of business and strategy”.
The news, announced on Monday, comes just over a year after McCartney ended her 17-year business partnership with LVMH’s rival conglomerate, Kering, and bought back its 50% stake in her eponymous brand. Further details of the deal will be announced in September, although it has been confirmed that McCartney will remain majority owner and continue as creative director. She currently oversees womenswear, menswear and childrenswear collections.
McCartney said on Monday that she had been approached by “various parties expressing their wish to partner and invest” since she gained full ownership, but “none could match the conversation” she had with LVMH owner Bernard Arnault and his son Antoine. “The passion and commitment they expressed towards the Stella McCartney brand alongside their belief in the ambitions and our values as the global leader in sustainable luxury fashion was truly impressive.”
The news follows LVMH’s announcement in May that it is partnering with Unesco on a five-year deal, allowing the fashion houses in the group access to “a network of experts at the regional level and in different disciplines to drive the development and success of their initiatives to protect biodiversity” and secure transparent supply chains.
The acquisition by LVMH, which owns Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior and Givenchy, comes as the fashion industry grapples with major questions concerning sustainability. Bringing McCartney – the most famous figurehead for sustainability in the industry – into the fold will be seen as a major coup.
In a statement released by the group, Arnault took the opportunity to point out that “LVMH was the first large company in France to create a sustainability department, more than 25 years ago” and expressed his happiness at the deal. “It is the beginning of a beautiful story together, and we are convinced of the great long-term potential of her House. A decisive factor was that she was the first to put sustainability and ethical issues on the front stage, very early on, and built her House around these issues.”
McCartney is LVMH’s second high-profile signing this year. In May it announced it was launching an upmarket fashion label with the singer Rihanna, making her the first black woman to head up a fashion house at the company.