2018 has been a busy, tumultuous year for the business of high-end fashion and luxury clothes. In March, we told you about Stella McCartney's plan to buy back parent company Kering's 50% share. Then, we let you know of Thom Browne's $500 million investment from luxury group Ermenegildo Zegna. Then, in September, Michael Kors acquired Versace for $2.1 billion.
And today, ready-to-wear label Proenza Schouler announced its own buy-back plan: The New York-based brand is set to buy back the company in its entirety from its equity firm investor Castanea Partners. In addition to reacquiring its minority shares, the brand announced a significant round of fresh capital funding through a group of private investors. The funds will be invested into the company's growth and developmental strategies, which include expansion in Proenza Schouler's businesses of ready-to-wear, leather goods, their affordable PSWL line, and fragrance.
The news includes changes to its executive staff, as well. Effective today, chief executive officer Judd Crane and chief financial officer John Paolicelli, who joined the company in 2016 and 2014, respectively, will be stepping down from their roles. Kay Hong, a retail industry vet who joins the company from Torrid, will assume the role of chief executive officer. Mary Wang, who was last the executive vice president of Alexander Wang, will join the company as chief operating officer. And lastly, Jonathan Friedman, a frequent consultant of the label, will join as interim chief financial officer. In addition to this news, the company also announced a newly elected board of directors.
Of the changes, designers Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez are rightfully chuffed. "We are thrilled to embark on this new, very exciting chapter of Proenza Schouler and are delighted about the team of industry leaders we have assembled who, together with us, will help drive the business to its full potential," they said, via press release. "We couldn't be happier to have Kay, Mary, and Jon by our side and to once again have full authority over our company's destiny." It looks like McCollough and Hernandez are preparing for some sort of retail domination; we suggest you watch this space.