In 2013, LVMH rapidly started investing in the companies of young, buzzy designers. The first was Maxime Simoens, a then-28-year-old French couturier considered one of Paris's most promising talents. The luxury conglomerate took a minority stake in Simoens to help him expand his business internationally.
And now, Simoens is the first of those designers to part ways with LVMH. The designer confirmed to WWD that their partnership has come to an end, and that he is still "very confident" in the company's future, though sources tell the trade that Simoens has had to cut back his staff and is "taking a pause" with his collection. A rep for Simoens did not immediately respond to our request for further information.
One of the reasons LVMH and its competitor, Kering, have been investing in young designers of late is to help foster talent that may one day take the reins at one of their big luxury brands. For instance, when LVMH took a minority stake in British designer J.W. Anderson, it also appointed him creative director of Loewe.
But Simoens's story shows that these investments don't always work out.