On July 15, 2019 Stella McCartney and LVMH formally announced an agreement for a new sustainability partnership that will further develop their businesses. The partnership comes a little over one year after McCartney bought back the 50% stake in her company from then partner Kering S.A.
Kering is a LVMH rival with luxury fashion brands including the evergreen Gucci, Saint Laurent and Alexander McQueen. But of the two luxury conglomerates Kering is the more visible sustainability leader.
In comparison LVMH owns some of the fashion industry’s most innovative design brands including Rihanna’s urban chic Fenty line, Givenchy, Loewe, and of course Louis Vuitton. And although LVMH has made strides with sustainable fashion initiatives through the LVMHprize for young designers, they have not represented a sustainable luxury fashion brand, until now.
During the LVMH formal announcement designer Stella McCartney shared there had been many approaches from various parties expressing their wish to partner and invest in the Stella McCartney House. But she said none could match the conversation she had with LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault and his son Antoine.
“The passion and commitment they expressed towards the Stella McCartney brand alongside their belief in the ambitions and our values as the global leader in sustainable luxury fashion was truly impressive.” ~Stella McCartney
The partnership is highly advantageous for Stella McCartney who will continue as creative director and ambassador of her brand, while holding majority ownership. In addition, LVMH will partner with the Stella McCartney House to accelerate her worldwide development in terms of business strategy while honoring her long-lasting commitment to sustainable and ethical luxury fashion.
By convincing Stella McCartney to join LVMH the company seizes an opportunity to accelerate their sustainability department created more than 25 years ago. It is expected that Stella will influence new sustainability initiatives within the company and increase awareness outside.
In exchange Stella will hold a specific position and role on sustainability as special advisor to Bernard Arnault and the LVMH executive committee members. Sources close to the designer say Stella McCartney is delighted with the partnership and looks forward to working with the company.
In a press release Bernard Arnault, Chairman and CEO of LVMH, declared: “I am extremely happy with this partnership with Stella. It is the beginning of a beautiful story together, and we are convinced of the great long-term potential of her House. A decisive factor was that she was the first to put sustainability and ethical issues on the front stage, very early on, and built her House around these issues. It emphasizes LVMH Groups’ commitment to sustainability.
The closing of this partnership is pending final contract approval including Stella’s role in LVMH. The full scope of this deal was said to be revealed in September 2019.