Italian entrepreneur Claudio Antonioli buys Belgian fashion brand Ann Demeulemeester. A new start for the Antwerp Six icon, which is currently also without a creative director.
For the long term
After a difficult financial period, fashion label Ann Demeulemeester has found a new owner in the person of Claudio Antonioli. The founder of luxury streetwear company New Guards Group, is now taking over the brand rights, archives, headquarters and flagship stores in Antwerp and Paris. The amount of the transaction is not disclosed.
The fashion label, which can count itself among the famous 'Antwerp Six', is thus leaving Belgium. CEO Anne Chapelle has until now held a majority stake in the company. The businesswoman had previously indicated that it was difficult to obtain financing from Belgian banks and investors and that external capital was needed. Chapelle preferred to find a long-term partner, "with a plan for the next ten years", and this is what she found in Antonioli, reports Knack.
Debut in March
Founder Ann Demeulemeester herself, who has left the company in 2013, says she is pleased with the agreement reached with Antonioli. "Mr. Antonioli has been a "companion on the road" since the brand's inception. I am delighted and give my full support to this new start. The company is going to acquire new energy and I am looking forward to the future with confidence," she said in a brief statement.
According to the buyer, the first introduction to the brand's "new line" will probably take place in March, during its runway show at Paris Fashion Week. In the meantime, a new creative director will also have to be appointed, Sébastien Meunier having resigned in July after seven years in the position.