By Kenneth Richard | The Impressionist
Everyone loves Italian. Yet another luxurious Italian brand is changing hands to ownership outside of Italy as Tengram Capital Partners, a Connecticut-based private equity firm lead by Co-Founder and Managing Partner William Sweedler, announced today that it acquired the majority interest in the Luciano Barbera brand.
This follows on the heels of reports that Roberto Cavalli will be selling a 60 percent stake in his namesake fashion house to VTB Capital of Russia, as well as recent sales of Lora Piana to LVMH Möet Hennessy Louis Vuitton and Brioni to Gucci owner, Kering.
Since 1971, the house of Luciano Barbera has sold clothing under his own name, made predominately with his own fabric for the raffinato, or refined gentleman. A look that has recently come back in full force amongst the discerning young fashion set rediscovering bespoke roots. Something premium retailers from Barney’s to Neiman Marcus have known all along and a key feature that attracted Tengram.Sources report the Luciano Barbera brand with locations on Via Montenapoleone in Milano and Fifth Avenue in New York has worldwide sales of near $50 million. Mr. Luciano Barbera, the Company’s iconic founder once described as “the most elegant man in the world”, will continue to serve as the brand’s Chairman Emeritus going forward.
… we found Luciano Barbera to be particularly compelling, given its authentic heritage and dedication to manufacturing the finest quality products entirely in Italy. We have tremendous respect for what Luciano and his family have been able to accomplish with the Luciano Barbera brand over the years.
Tengram announced along with its investment that it has brought on Todd Barrato as new CEO for Luciano Barbera. Barrato previously served as North America CEO for the Italian luxury men’s brand Brioni.
Carola Barbera, the Company’s Creative Director, stated “Luciano Barbera is proud of its rich tradition of excellence in Italian manufacturing that my father and grandfather, Carlo Barbera, originated nearly 65 years ago. Our partnership with Tengram will accelerate the company’s ability to deliver our hand-crafted products to many more discerning customers around the world.”
Tengram, formerly known as Windsong Brands, has investments in Sequential Brands Group, NEST Fragrances and Robert Graham, which it bought a stake in 2011 and has doubled its volume via licensing and opening several stores.