Two fashion brands beloved by the Princess of Wales yesterday faced uncertain futures. Luxury dressmaker Reiss is thought to be a takeover target for US investment fund Elliott Advisors while designer Christopher Kane collapsed into administration.
Kate Middleton has been a loyal fan of High Street name Reiss, often wearing colourful, smart blazers from the retailer, and even picked a white dress from the brand for her engagement portrait with Prince William back in 2010.
But Reiss may be sold to Elliott, the New-York investment manager behind booksellers Foyles and Waterstones, in a deal that could value it at more than £500million, according to Sky News. Lord Wolfson’s High Street clothing firm Next has been working with private equity firm Warburg Pincus, which also owns a stake in Reiss, to auction the business.
Reiss was founded in 1971 by David Reiss and now has more than 60 shops in the UK.
It was dubbed ‘an outstanding brand with enormous potential’ by Wolfson when he first snapped up a 25 per cent stake in the company in 2021.
Next now owns 51 per cent of the fashion retailer, after increasing its stake last summer.
Another brand adored by the Princess of Wales, Scottish business Christopher Kane, yesterday said it would appoint insolvency experts amid a battle for survival.
It has launched an 11th hour attempt to put together a rescue plan, which could see a refinancing deal or the company saved by a buyer.
A spokesman for Christopher Kane Limited said: ‘The board has recently resolved to file a notice of intention to appoint FTS Recovery as administrators.
‘This difficult decision has been reached to give the company sufficient time to implement a rescue plan.’
Although the brand had garnered an ‘impressive fan base’, including Michelle Obama and Anna Wintour, as well as the Princess of Wales, retail expert Wizz Selvey of Wizz & Co said Christopher Kane ‘relied too heavily’ on pricey collections which ‘wavered in popularity and visibility due to the pandemic’s effect on much of the luxury fashion industry.’
The business was also forced to shutter stores and lay off a slew of employees during Covid, which wounded the brand over the longer term, Selvey said.
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