Twenty-eight-year-old French couturier Maxime Simoens will debut his first ever ready-to-wear collection in Paris on March 3, thanks to a little financial boost from mega luxury conglomerate LVMH, which yesterday confirmed its investment in Simoens's young label.
Rumors swirled early last year that Bernard Arnault planned to invest in Simoens following rumors that he was being considered for the Dior job. Though the job ended up going to someone else (with a very similar last name), insiders said Arnault planned to buy a stake in his label to keep an eye on him for future job openings.
A spokesman for LVMH told the Wall Street Journal that LVMH has taken a minority stake in the brand “in order to help accelerate its development.” According to the Financial Times, Dior chief executive Sidney Toledano was a driving force in the investment.
“This partnership endorsement will allow the House to develop my creative vision internationally,” said Simoens in a statement.
Unlike PPR's recent investment in Christopher Kane, Simoens will maintain ultimate control over his brand as he still owns at least 50% of the company.
Simoens graduated from the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture in 2006 and has shown couture for three seasons. Though not as buzzy a name as Christopher Kane (at least internationally), Simoens is considered a promising talent in Paris, where young designers have a tougher time getting noticed than in cities like New York and London, which are generally more nurturing of young talent. Perhaps that is starting to change?