WWD Digital Daily

Ralph & Russo Gets $ 50M Investment

● The brand's ceo, Michael Russo, said the partnershi­p with La Perla Fashion Investment will support long-term growth plans.

- BY SAMANTHA CONTI

LONDON — British couture house Ralph & Russo has welcomed a new partner in La Perla Fashion Investment BV, which has taken a $50 million, non-controllin­g minority share.

Michael Russo, chief executive officer of Ralph & Russo, described the investment as strategic, and said it signifies “an important step in allowing Ralph & Russo and our team to realize our long-term growth plans whilst keeping the brand privately owned and managed.”

Pascal Perrier, La Perla Global Management (U.K.) Ltd. ceo, will join the board in a non-executive advisory capacity. Russo said the company was looking forward to Perrier's assistance in delivering its goals.

Perrier, who was previously ceo of Burberry Group Asia Pacific, said Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo have done “a phenomenal job at creating one of the world's top luxury fashion brands in a

short space of time. I fully support the founders' strategy, and look forward to being a part of Ralph & Russo's continued success story.”

In addition to his long career at Burberry, Perrier served in senior management at several other luxury firms, including Gucci Group, where he executed the acquisitio­n and subsequent integratio­n of Yves Saint Laurent and Balenciaga.

Ralph & Russo was founded in London in 2010, and rapidly built a name in couture, becoming the first British guest member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture in more than a century. The brand has since expanded into high-end ready-to-wear and accessorie­s and rolled out stand-alone stores in London, Paris, Dubai, Doha and Monte Carlo, with units in Miami and New York set to open soon. It also has a shop-in-shop at Harrods.

The London-based brand has a host of celebrity and internatio­nal customers, with Meghan Markle wearing a Ralph and Russo skirt and top for her official engagement picture in 2017. Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna, Kaia Gerber, Gwyneth Paltrow and Bella Hadid have all been snapped wearing the brand's hyper-feminine, embellishe­d designs for red-carpet events.

The company, which employs 350 people in the U.K., is also known for its service offer, with designer Tamara Ralph and her team constantly traveling for fittings and client appointmen­ts and customers receiving films of their dresses being made in the vast London atelier.

La Perla describes itself as wholly owned subsidiary of Tennor Holding BV, a global investment holding company that takes majority and minority stakes in public and private firms, as well as in public and private debt instrument­s. It is also an indirect majority shareholde­r of La Perla Global Management (U.K.) Ltd., the head office of the La Perla operating entity.

La Perla Fashion Investment has the option to increase its holding in Ralph & Russo up to 40 percent. The investment in Ralph & Russo was made within the same framework as the investment in La Perla Global Management (U.K.) Ltd., the luxury lingerie brand.

John Caudwell, the British businessma­n and philanthro­pist who made his fortune with mobile phones, retains his minority stake in the company, which he took in 2014. Ralph & Russo had always described Caudwell's investment as “passive and noncontrol­ling.”

 ??  ?? A fall look from Ralph & Russo Couture.
A fall look from Ralph & Russo Couture.

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