Joseph Altuzarra has been the golden boy of the New York fashion scene ever since he debuted his namesake line in 2008 with Carine Roitfeld's full support. Season after season his collections have garnered critical acclaim. And in five short years he's racked up almost every major fashion prize out there: This summer he took home the American Woolmark Prize, 2012 he won the Swarovski Award for Womenswear and in 2011 he won the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. So it's no surprise really, that Kering (formerly PPR)--the luxury group that includes Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga--has taken a stake in Altuzarra.
Today Kering announced that it will become a minority shareholder of Altuzarra. “I am delighted to enter into this relationship with Kering, a group renowned for its excellence in luxury and innovation with an incredible track record for nurturing some of the greatest talents and brands in the fashion industry," Altuzarra, who shows his spring collection in two days, said in a release. "This partnership will allow us to take the Altuzarra brand to the next stage of its development in accordance with my creative vision."
That Kering is taking a minority stake is key. It allows Altuzarra and his small team to maintain creative control. “It was very important for me to keep [Kering] a minority stake at this point and for us to keep control of Altuzarra," the designer told WWD. "[Kering was] incredibly supportive of that decision and really understanding of it, and that was also very rare.”
For any luxury label to survive and make a profit, it needs an accessories line. Kering's strong track record with accessories was reportedly part of what sealed the deal for Altuzarra. When we checked in with the 29-year-old designer after he won the Woolmark Prize this past July, he told us the prize money would allow him to launch pre-fall for the very first time. A larger infusion will make way for those all-important handbags.
And really, for any luxury label to survive in this day and age of so much competition, it needs a major investment from a conglomerate like Kering or LVMH. “There was this need for financial support, but there was also a need for infrastructure and expertise and experience, especially in the market sector that we’re in, which is luxury,” Altuzarra told WWD.
Altuzarra's already doing great things. We can't wait to see what the brand will do with Kering's support.