News this week that another iconic Australian fashion label has been majority purchased by LVMH (slightly indirectly - the majority purchase was by L Capital Asia, a private equity fund sponsored by LVMH), signalling that LVMH still believes Australian labels are producing quality goods at a high enough standard to compete strongly in international markets. You may recall LVMH secured R.M. Williams many months ago.
If you're not familiar with the label, you probably don't read this blog. Seafolly is your quintessential Aussie swimwear label, selling a range of beach-wear products from you classic bikini and one-piece, all the way through to kaftans, beach bags, beach towels and a new range of sunglasses on its way. The label favours bright colours, and is wide-ranging in its appeal: a bo-ho girl, surfie girl and classic girl could go to Seafolly and each walk out with something they love.
Seafolly has until now been a family-owned company, and is set to celebrate 40 years of cutting brightly coloured pieces of lycra into covetable swimwear next year. The Halas family (son Anthony has been CEO since 1998) noted that they have been approached on an almost daily basis for the past 3 years with offers for the company (it does after all generate about $100 million annually... You can understand why).
The family decided to take the plunge when L Capital approached them. As Halas says:
“They’re helping us become an international iconic brand, and using their retail connections and global connections to help us develop internationally in core markets and Asian markets where we don’t have a presence at all. I presented them with our five-year plan as a family brand, where we could double business over the next four to five years. With their input I feel we can triple it or more.”