Retail entrepreneur Claudio Antonioli acquires Ann Demeulemeester
Italian fashion entrepreneur Claudio Antonioli has acquired Antwerp-based Ann Demeulemeester. The designer, who exited her namesake label seven years ago, welcomed the news that the New Guards Group co-founder has taken control and said he’ll bring a new energy to the firm.
The label had been controlled by CEO Anne Chapelle who was a long-time executive at the firm and acquired a stake in 2005.
Antonioli’s interest in the brand was rumoured as far back as the spring. It’s not known how much he paid for the company but the deal includes the firm’s Antwerp HQ and flagship, its Paris showroom and its full archive.
The brand saw the exit of its creative director Sébastian Meunier In the summer. He’d been at the firm for a decade and at the creative helm since being appointed by Demeulemeester herself to take over on her retirement.
The company has no new creative director lined up as yet but has said it’s planning to show at Paris Fashion Week next March.
The combination of Demeulemeester and Anontioli is certainly a powerful one. Demeulemeester was one of the major names who turned Antwerp into a key fashion city. Antonioli, who runs the Italian retail chain and webstore of the same name, has long been known as a man who fosters new talent and independent labels. It will be interesting to see the direction in which he takes his new acquisition.
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