Gareth Pugh Buys Back Stake From Rick Owens

Discussion in 'Designers and Collections' started by Benn98, May 21, 2020 at 12:27 PM.

  1. Benn98

    Benn98 Well-Known Member

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    He is once again the sole owner of his label.

    Gareth Pugh Plots Comeback, Buys Back Stake From Rick Owens

    The London-based designer is aiming to present a collection in some newfangled way in September.
    • WWD Digital Daily
    • 20 May 2020
    • BY MILES SOCHA

    Gareth Pugh is waking up his dormant fashion brand, assuming complete control of his trademark and plotting a comeback as soon as this fall.

    The London-based designer recently bought back the 49 percent of his trademark that he quietly sold in 2006 to Rick Owens and Owens’ Italian production partner Olmar and Mirta SpA, WWD has learned. Owens and his wife, Michèle Lamy, have long been enthusiastic cheerleaders of Pugh’s inimitable brand of tough, goth-tinged glamour.

    Financial terms were not disclosed, and it is understood the separation was amicable and all parties remain close.

    “I’m really excited to start a new chapter,” Pugh told WWD. “We’re in a moment where we’re all being invited to invent the future, so for me it’s important to be part of that cultural conversation now more than ever.”

    Asked about the development, Owens said: “Every designer should own his own name and I’m glad we were able to be any kind of help when he needed us. Gareth and [his husband Carson McColl] are family, and I love that we were all married for a minute. But we always will be.”

    Pugh said he’s aiming to present a collection in some newfangled way in September, with the format and manufacturing set-up still a work in progress.

    A consummate showman, Pugh is known for gripping runway shows — often with a futuristic, dystopian edge — and for being a pioneer with fashion films that are equally intense. One, shown on the biggest screen in Europe at an IMAX theater in 2017, merged fashion, choreography and clay in ways both gruesome and gorgeous.

    Hailing from the coastal city of Sunderland in northern England, Pugh studied fashion design at London’s Central Saint Martins, graduating in 2003 and garnering attention from the fashion world for his sculptural, otherworldly designs.

    Pugh met Owens and Lamy during an internship at Revillon, the furrier that brought Owens to Paris. Pugh launched his signature brand at London Fashion Week in 2006, after having participated in the group show Fashion East the year prior.

    He won the prestigious ANDAM Fashion Award in 2008, and subsequently showed his collection in Paris, London and New York.

    Pugh took a hiatus from fashion after his spring-summer 2019 show in London to focus on Hard+Shiny, a creative studio he founded with McColl in 2018. It has worked with artists such as Christina Aguilera, Nicki Minaj and Cardi B, and has collaborated with the New York City Ballet, the Opéra Garnier in Paris, the Dutch National Opera and The Royal Opera House in London.

    Last year, Pugh and McColl directed their first feature-length documentary — titled “Soul of a Movement” and devoted to queer resistance in the U.K. — and launched a major collaboration with Richard Branson’s Virgin Voyages.

    WWD
     
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  2. jeanclaude

    jeanclaude Well-Known Member

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    It seems he got tired of making reproductions of Montana´s clothes.
     
  3. SophiaVB

    SophiaVB Well-Known Member

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    It's nice there are a few stories of genuine friendship & mutual admiration in fashion.
     
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  4. Benn98

    Benn98 Well-Known Member

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    I think it's incredible that designers can fully own their own brands. And though there may be no unpleasantness, I imagine the reason why Gareth went into overdrive over the past few years with all the collabs (at times with unscrupulous partners *cough* Richard Branson *cough*) was to raise money without much effort to ultimately buy his brand back.

    I wish John will also be in this position one day. It's disgusting that someone as creative doesn't own the brand that he started. And even more disgusting that an entire generation of shoppers will eventually buy into his namesake label not knowing the backstory and that he's got zero input. Very soon the John Galliano brand will piggyback off what he's doing at Margiela just like YSL Beauty is doing with Saint Laurent. The moral thing to do is to sell it back to him, especially in an era where everyone is always babbling on and on about 'values'.

    If I were Nicolas I'd be very wary for my own label to be jumpstarted by a conglomerate. You'd think he'd have learned his lesson by now.
     
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  5. Lola701

    Lola701 Well-Known Member

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    Good for him. The most difficult part in finding a business partner is to have respect and trust. It worked for Alaia and it works for Gareth now.
    Now, it will be interesting to see how his aesthetic has evolved...If it’s less less cliché in a way.
    I think you forget to add the Power dynamic in the mix. That’s maybe the thing that differentiate a Galliano from a Ghesquiere and that had a huge part for Lee, Stella. Galliano owned like 8% of his brand when he was fired from Dior...Which was the brand owning is brand and paying him a salary. All of that considering that he had no personal wealth when he joined Givenchy and Dior.
    Yes, Arnault is super petty in that particular case but from the start, the power dynamic wasn’t balanced....compared to Lee (who, through the money he made at Givenchy had enough wealth to have a more fair partnership) or Stella (for obvious reasons).

    Having worked for Kering, Ghesquiere knows too much about it. I would expect for him to have the same kind of partnership Rihanna has. I mean, he is a rich man and he is very focused on his vision. Yes, he had 10% of Balenciaga and it added to his wealth when he left but he also witness the limits in decisions having such a small percentage creates.

    Partnerships with conglomerates is definitely a NO for any young designers but it can be a YES for more experienced, already rich designers.
     
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  6. Benn98

    Benn98 Well-Known Member

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    To the contrary, I actually find it quite backward for established designers to partner with conglomerates because they have an advantage in the way of prestige over emerging talent and in most cases, are already holding down a solid position. You don't have to even deal with power dynamics if you go at it on your own from the start, unless you're power-hungry that is. Otherwise you will always have the likes of Arnault running to the press with soundbites like 'I'm more concerned about Marc Jacobs than Donald Trump'.

    I'm just glad that for every greedy Ghesquire or similar there's a new wave of designers owning their labels. As insufferable as he is, Jacquemus is a poster boy. Marine Serre as well. Carly Cushnie, who had such an amazing journey to finally owning her brand. Most London and NY designers who survive on silent investment. Not everybody has to be a massive flagship within a year.
     
    #6 Benn98, May 22, 2020 at 8:34 AM
    Last edited: May 22, 2020 at 8:44 AM
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  7. Lola701

    Lola701 Well-Known Member

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    I guess it’s just a different POV. I want to think about established designers who went totally independent after being attached to a group...Tom Ford and Karl (when he launched Lagerfeld Gallery). The industry was very different for Karl and Tom build his brand gradually in an unusual way.

    It’s not just about being greedy but I don’t think everybody is ready at nearly 50, to go back to the same struggle they had in their 20’s. It took 10 years to Jacquemus to be where he is at today but at the same time, it took 10 years for Nicolas to make Balenciaga profitable (it became profitable in 2007). I think for a designer like Nicolas, having a store where he can display his aesthetic is something important that a partnership with LVMH can offer.

    Alber expressed in a interview that he had no desire to invest himself in a way he did for Lanvin. So his partnership with Richemont makes sense. Co-ownership does not have the same implication than working with someone.

    I’m less concerned by the idea of Nicolas creating a brand in partnership with LVMH than Puig that has a majority stake in Dries...And you mentioned the LVMH/Marc Jacobs situation and what it can mean in terms of power dynamic.
     
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