Stella McCartney confirms the rumors that surfaced last month, she’s buying back ownership of her company from Kering, a 50-50 partnership since the label was launched in 2001.
The option to buy back her name was built into her initial agreement with Kering. “It was there for a reason. I’m very protective and very aware of my name. It has a lot to do with my heritage, a lot to do with how I’ve looked at the world growing up,” the designer told WWD.
“It is an incredible blessing and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that’s not awarded to many fashion designers with their name on the door. I have four children, I have the opportunity to take control of the business that bears my name and that is extraordinarily exciting. To be afforded that chance as a designer, as a woman, as a mother of four, it’s something I had to take on,” McCartney added.
On Wednesday (March 28, 2018) evening, Kering CEo François-Henri Pinault issued an announcement confirming the move. “Kering is a luxury group that empowers creative minds and helps disruptive ideas become reality. I am extremely proud of what Kering and Stella McCartney have accomplished together since 2001,” he said in a statement, noting, “Stella knows she can always count on my friendship and support.”
McCartney and Kering didn’t provide details on the cost of the buyback or how it was financed. There were rumors Paul McCartney helped fund the move, though according to WWD, it’s been implied this is not the case.
The transition to independence will take place over a period of two years with financial transactions planned for completion within a year. McCartney noted she has no immediate plan to take on new investors or take the company public.
Known for her emphasis on sustainability and a fur and leather-free material story, McCartney said her decision to buy back her company wasn’t because of limitations placed on the label by Kering and as such, her plans for the label won’t see any noteworthy changes in the near term.
Still, McCartney emphasized change has always been a part of the label’s business plan. “At Stella McCartney we pride ourselves on exploring new techniques, new technologies, new ways of looking at an industry,” said McCartney. We certainly don’t fit into a mold and we see opportunities going forward. We also don’t have these preconceived ideas that we have to sit in a certain price point, or territory. We are responding as well as respecting.”