Independent Luxury Labels
That COS belongs to H&M and Miu Miu to Prada, might know to the majority of us. Then there is Massimo Dutti which is managed under the same company as Zara. The list of fashion houses, which are actually managed under the same roof, can be continued. Independency in fashion seems to be a rarity. In today’s world there is hardly a single independent designer which is not ‘owned’ by some external business company.
LVMH – Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy, is the biggest company that owns more than 60 luxury brands. LVMH has its headquarter in Paris and was founded by Bernard Arnault, who still manages his company. The conglomerate – a multi-industry-company – came into live in September 1987 with the fusion of Louis Vuitton and Moët Hennessy. I will spare the details, since the history of growth of the company carried along some unpleasant stories with regard of the exploitation of other company’s and in my eyes immoral actions to attain LVMH current state of growth. The list of fashion brands that belong to LVMH seems to be endless, but here some selective examples of the most well-known, which include Louis Vuitton, Céline, Loewe, Kenzo, Givenchy, Marc Jacobs, Fendi, Emilio Pucci, Donna Karan and Dior.
But let us regard the rather positive side of fashion: there are still some family managed fashion brands, which are not owned by a company, but are rather (if its even possible to express it like this) owned by themselves and are thus independent.
Hermès for example (Birkin-Bag underneath). It was even for me surprising, when I stepped during my research upon this luxury fashion brand. But having a look inside the history of the fashion brand of Hermés has shown that the brand has stayed in the family for generations. No traces of other companies; nor LVMH. But this is not really correct: LVMH and Hermés had a huge law suit with each other. LVMH bought on the quiet some stocks of Hermés without keeping the Exchange Supervisory Authority informed that the concern had already bought stocks of 14%, where the actual limit of the possible investment lies in 5%. Meanwhile the concern already owns more then 23%. The family company felt offended and saw in the action of LVMH the interest to buy up slowly the company. Outcome of the lawsuit was the order that LVMH is not allowed to buy stocks in the next five years and LVMH should have in the end only stocks of 8.5%. The story is Hollywood-film-like and just stresses out the fact how big companies try to eat up the independent ones.
Not so independent, but still not owned by anybody else is also the Italian luxury brand Tod’s. Also a family company it grew ever since the foundation of the brand. The brand is highly known for its shoe classics and women’s bags.