Belstaff celebrated London Fashion Week with style on Sunday night by opening its new flagship at 135 New Bond Street. The lavish party also welcomed the new face of the brand, David Beckham, and celebrated the birthday of its brand designer, Martin Cooper. Belstaff, the luxury fashion brand which models its clothes on biker culture, celebrated the launch with the unveiling of its new autumn/winter collection, of which Beckham was sporting one of its new line of jackets.
Chanel has announced its plans to open a mammoth flagship London store with a vast array of luxury brands set to follow in its footsteps with Paris-style "maisons".
Belstaff has paid £3 million for a 20-year lease in a move which demonstrates that high-end brands, as well as London’s shopping destinations, are weathering the economic downturn.
Outerwear brand Belstaff has poached Burberry’s Martin Cooper for the role of chief creative officer.
Cooper, a vice president and design director for outerwear, held various roles over a sixteen year span at the British fashion house. He will now join the newly incorporated management team at Belstaff, which also boasts Tommy Hilfiger and Harry Slatkin as members.
Since its acquisition by Labelux earlier this month, Belstaff has been seen to gear up for a transition into a global luxury lifestyle brand, which will launch with an autumn 2012 collection.
At his new position Cooper will report to Slatkin, who said: “Martin has been at a brand for 16 years and has gone through the transition of taking a brand from its origin and updating it so that it still stays true to its past but current to its environment.”
Cooper will be based in New York for his role.
Both Tommy Hilfiger and Harry Slatkin have invested in the outerwear label as part of a new deal with Labelux. Stakin will become Belstaff’s chief executive, whilst Hilfiger will work as a business consultant, becoming a member of Belstaff’s advisory team and board.
Founded in 1924, British label Belstaff historically specialises in waxed cotton clothes for the motorcycling industry, and is now set to go global under Labelux's new positioning of the brand.
Slatkin, founder of home fragrance brand Slatkin & Co has told press he will be in charge of Belstaff’s transformation into “a powerhouse lifestyle brand that will sit among the top luxury lifestyle brands.” The entrepreneur said it was essential to enlist Hilfiger, thanks to his knowledge of creating one of the world’s most recognisable clothing brands.
Hilfiger spoke of his new investment in Belstaff during an interview earlier this week, stating:
“I thought that it would certainly be successful with a partner like Labelux and Harry as ceo. There are a lot of great ingredients. You have an exciting heritage brand. You have a product that will evolve but with a built-in cool factor already.”
Following the confirmation of the Belstaff purchase last week, Labelux chief executive Reinhard Mieck described the label, along with the company’s recent Jimmy Choo acquisition as “fantastic jewels with enormous potential.”
Currently 95 percent of Belstaff sales are derived from Europe, through the brand’s 10 freestanding stores, although the label is yet to open in the US. “From an investment standpoint, it’s fantastic for us, because we can roll it out around the world,” Mieck said. “And with the rich heritage, it has all the opportunities to develop into a full-fledged lifestyle brand.”
It’s been a bumper week for Austrian based Labelux Group. Not only did it succeed in acquiring Jimmy Choo for £500 million, but the group also completed its take-over of Italian luxury brand Belstaff.Reports in the Italian press claim Labelux paid over EUR 103 million to former Belstaff owners Clothing Company SpA. The final transaction is expected to take place on 7 June.Counting Robert Downey Jr, Brad Pitt and Daniel Day Louis as brand endorsers, the Belstaff brand has experienced a steady growth in popularity in the last five years.The label will now join Jimmy Choo and Bally Shoes under Labelux, which is set to become a major global player for luxury brands in the next few years as it plans to reach revenues of EUR 200 billion by 2013.
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