Sonia Rykiel brand acquired by duo of ShowroomPrivé founders
We may finally have come to the last episode of the legal soap opera that has surrounded the Sonia Rykiel brand since this spring. Following the liquidation of the company founded in 1968 by the designer of the same name, its trademark rights – the final remnants of this fashion story – have found buyers: Eric and Michael Dayan.
Along with their brothers David Dayan and Thierry Petit, the pair were the co-founders of the ShowroomPrivé website in 2006. Having served as the company's managing partners since then, they stepped away from their operational responsibilities two years ago, but held onto their significant stakes in the platform. They then went on to support and advise a range of different fashion brands on their strategies, offering a particular focus on digital technologies.
Some 20 different offers were presented to the judge, who ultimately selected the proposal brought forward by the two brothers.
"This purchase is in line with the continuation of our entrepreneurial journey," the duo announced on Wednesday, 18 December, the day after the announcement of the ruling awarding them Sonia Rykiel's assets, namely the brand and its archives.
Their plan is to relaunch the fashion house starting this year, both in France and abroad, but no further details of the their projects have been revealed for the moment.
The brand's new owners did, however, express their pleasure that the "the Sonia Rykiel house and heritage will remain French," or rather become French once again, as First Heritage Brands, the label's owner until early 2019, was majoritarily owned by Hong Kong-based Li & Fung and Singaporean firm Temasek, along with Jean-Marc Loubier.
Before ShowroomPrivé, Eric Dayan was working in an executive role at destocking specialist France Export. Following the platform's foundation, he was responsible for its B2B operations. His brother, Michael Dayan, was in charge of commercial and legal issues. Looking to the future, and to the challenges presented by Sonia Rykiel, the duo believes that their "financial stability and expertise in the sector [are] two advantages that will allow them to develop the brand and breathe new life into it."
Over the last few years, the luxury ready-to-wear and accessories brand saw a gradual decline, with annual revenues ultimately falling to 35 million euros in 2018 and losses mounting. Following the declaration of the company's failure and a fruitless search for buyers, the fashion house's 131 employees and six company-operated stores were liquidated this summer.
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