Chinese investor buys controlling stake in AMI
Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, though AMI did reveal it recorded annual turnover “superior” to €50 million, an increase of more than 50% on the previous year.
“It will be development by continuity with Alexandre Mattiussi, president and artistic director, who continues to assure the creative direction; Nicolas Santi-Weil; managing director, will keep control of the operations of the maison,” the house said in a release in a joint release with the new owner.
The strategic investment marks the latest Paris runway brand to have been acquired by a Chinese investor, following the acquisition of Lanvin by Fosun International in September 2005.
Sequoia Capital China is a venture capital firm based in Beijing, which has taken stakes in over 600 companies since being founded – including JD.com, Alibaba, Meituan and Wanda Cinemas - though not in any noted fashion brand.
AMI was founded in 2011 by Mattiussi, a Norman-born designer who worked previously in the menswear design studios of both Christian Dior and Givenchy. Its brand name references the initials of the designer’s name, and the fact that Mattiussi has always insisted he designs for his friends – or 'amis' in French.
Mattiussi has achieved critical and commercial success for his French touch; and cool practical aesthetic. He is noted for staging catwalk shows in unexpected settings – his most show was held on a boat sailing up and down the Seine. After debuting with menswear, Mattiussi also successfully launched a women’s collection in 2018, again winning plaudits for his modernist style, and successfully translating his aesthetic into women’s fashion.
“We are proud to welcome a strong and visionary ally, and together write a new chapter in the evolution of AMI. Combining the global reach and digital expertise of Sequoia Capital China with the creativity and energy of AMI will no doubt create a formidable cocktail.We all share the same goal of adding a new dimension to the history of our brand. Alexandre and I were convinced by their determination to support us as entrepreneurs, while understanding and respecting the fundamental values that define us," said Santi-Weil.
AMI now boasts flagship boutiques in Paris, the UK, China and Japan; as well as retailing in over 350 sales points worldwide.
“We are delighted to partner with AMI, under the leadership of Alexandre Mattiussi, one of the leading brands in the global market, with its strong creative culture and a passion for digitalization. This partnership marks a new step in our journey with international companies, retail leaders in the luxury industry, to help them accelerate their digital transformation and their establishment in local markets," said Neil Shen, manager of Sequoia Capital, founder and managing partner of Sequoia Capital China.
In the release, Sequoia Capital describes itself as a team that supports “daring founders in building legendary companies… from the initial idea to the IPO and beyond.”
“By partnering with Sequoia Capital, these companies benefit from its unique community, as well as lessons learned from 49 years of experience. True “entrepreneurs alongside entrepreneurs”, Sequoia Capital China focuses on three sectors: TMT (Technologies, Media, Telecommunications), consumption and health. In the past 16 years, it has collaborated with nearly 600 companies in China, it added.
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