Jack McCollough, Lazaro Hernandez and Proenza Schouler CEO Shirley Cook said in a joint statement, “We are thankful to VFG [Valentino Fashion Group] for giving us a start, and allowing us to get where we are today. There’s so much we’d like to accomplish and have found the perfect complement in John and Andrew to help us realize our dreams.”
Valentino Fashion Group purchased a 45% stake in Proenza for $3.7 million in 2007. VFG was then bought buy London-based mergers and acquisitions firm Permira. It’s been over a year since rumors started circulating that Permira was shopping around its stake in Proenza Schouler. Soon after, reports surfaced that Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez had met with Theory CEO Andrew Rosen. It was only a matter of time until the deal was done–though it took quite a bit longer than expected, supposedly because Permira was originally unhappy with Rosen’s terms.
Rosen has invested in Proenza personally and not through Link Theory Holdings, which Theory falls under. In addition to running Theory, Rosen is a major investor in brands like Rag & Bone, Gryphon and Alice + Olivia. Comparatively, Proenza is more of a luxury brand than Rosen’s current holdings. To that end, Rosen and Howard told WWD, “We believe that the Proenza business is the future of American luxury, and uniquely poised to compete in a global marketplace, which is currently dominated by European designers. In infusing this brand with our resources and experience, we will position this business to achieve its full potential.”