On the selling block for the past year or so, Jimmy Choo has been bought from London-based private equity firm TowerBrook Capital by Labelux, a burgeoning luxury group which owns brands like Bally, Derek Lam and Solange Azagury-Partridge. Labelux reportedly paid between ₤500-550 million--around $850 million--for the high-end shoe label. According to a statement released by the Vienna-based firm, Jimmy Choo founder and chief creative officer Tamara Mellon and CEO Josh Schulman will stay on board, and Mellon will take a stake in the new company being formed by Labelux.
Jimmy Choo wants to buy back Jimmy Choo. In case you haven't heard, Jimmy Choo, the shoe designer, doesn't actually own or design for his namesake label. In fact, he hasn't been involved since 2000. UK private equity firm, TowerBrook, owns the majority of the company. (The other big shareholder is co-founder/chief creative officer Tamara Mellon, who owns 15% of the business.) TowerBrook is keen on selling. LVMH, Valentino, and a few private equity firms have been whispered as potential buyers. But now Mr. Choo, the original designer and inspiration behind the brand, wants his label back. According to The Daily Mail, Choo has hired adviser Daniel Stewart to help him move forward with a £500 million offer for the company. (Choo will need investors to back his bid. Stewart will help him find the right ones.) Does he have a chance?
The Isabella Blow book war just won't quit. And the authors of the competing biographies--Tom Sykes, who cowrote Blow by Blow with Isabella's widower Detmar, and Lauren Goldstein Crowe who wrote Isabella Blow: A Life in Fashion--continue to use the fashion blogosphere to duke it out. Crowe has spoken out again, though this time, instead of responding to Syke's latest outrage, she's taking issue with one of the sites covering the saga, lady blog Jezebel. Seems Crowe didn't like Jenna Sauers' implication, as she recapped the back-and-forth on Jezebel, that the authors were simply drumming up publicity at Isabella Blow's expense. "Far be it from us mere bloggers to act like some kind of voice of morality here, but a talented and troubled woman died and all these people can think about is their petty little publicity-chasing book-selling feud?" Sauers wrote. So Crowe sent a response to us and Racked, titled, "A Letter to Jezebel." Here it is, in full: How strange of you to recall, step-by-step, the grisly tale between myself and Tom Sykes ("Competing Isabella Blow Biographers Attack Each Other," November, 11, 2010) but when it comes to my completely coherent clarification to decide to "act like some voice of morality" and point out that "a trouble woman died," and accuse us both of pandering for publicity's sake.
Two competing biographies of Isabella Blow, widely regarded as one of the most brilliant and creative forces in fashion, hit shelves this week. There's Blow by Blow, Detmar Blow's biography of his late wife coauthored by Tom Sykes, and there's Isabella Blow: A Life in Fashion by veteran fashion writer Lauren Goldstein Crowe. Crowe's is being optioned for a movie. Detmar's bio is the required reading for our first Fashionista book club (virtual) meeting. There's a lot of bad blood between the two books. At the New York launch party for Blow by Blow, Detmar told WWD that he had "no interest" in Crowe's book. Following the London launch party for Isabella Blow: A Life in Fashion, Crowe wrote to tell Racked.com: "Personally I thought it more interesting that Detmar's sister and cousin were there as were both Isabella's sisters and her step-mother and a variety of cousins. Also Philip Treacy and Lucy Ferry who didn't attend Detmar's launch. But hey, that's the world we live in." And now Tom Sykes, coauthor of Blow by Blow (and brother of Plum and Lucy) is fighting back. He sent us a long, angry email to comment on what he called the "outrageous slur that has been made today on our book by Ms Crowe on the fashion blog racked.com." Here it is in full (we've bolded the best bits): 'Hey, that's the world we live in'? What the hell is that supposed to mean? Lauren Golsdstein Crowe's outrageous insinuation seems to be that somehow her book is the 'approved version' because Issie's sisters came to her book launch. This cannot go unchallenged. Lavinia, Isabella's beloved youngest sister, came to the launch of our book in London, and was an honored guest at the dinner afterwards at Annabels. Freddie, Lavinia's son and one of Issie's cousins, was also at our launch in New York. And, for God's sake, DETMAR WAS ISSIE'S HUSBAND FOR ALMOST TWENTY YEARS!!!!