Stella McCartney Teams Up With LVMH, in Plot Twist in Luxury Wars


Ms. McCartney’s very public veganism (she has always refused to work with leather) and outspoken adherence to organic beauty, along with her high public profile (daughter of Paul McCartney, close friend of Kate Moss, Gwyneth Paltrow and Liv Tyler) have combined to make her a prominent figure in high fashion eco-activism.

She will now take those credentials to LVMH. With millennial-age shoppers increasingly placing climate concerns among their top priorities, such an association is a meaningful asset.

Ms. McCartney, who is known for an easy, cool aesthetic — she once designed and wore “Rock Royalty” T-shirts for herself and her guests at the Met Gala — started her brand in 2001 as a joint venture with what is now Kering, whose other properties include Gucci and Alexander McQueen. From the start, Stella McCartney was positioned as one of the first socially conscious luxury brands, and grew into one of British fashion’s best-known names. In 2018, Ms. McCartney bought back Kering’s 50 percent stake in the brand, establishing it, briefly, as an independent name.

During the partnership with Kering, Stella McCartney earnings were not publicly broken out, but in a note to investors at the time of the split, Thomas Chauvet, a Citigroup analyst, estimated that the brand had achieved sales of 260 million euros, or about $320 million, in 2017. That was about 2 percent of the Kering luxury division’s sales.

LVMH, often seen as a bellwether for the fortunes of the broader luxury-goods sector, said in April that its sales in the first quarter grew 11 percent on a like-for-like basis, to €12.5 billion, or $14.1 billion, beating analysts’ estimates. The company will report half-year results for 2019 on July 24.

Ms. McCartney said in the statement that since terminating her partnership with Kering, she had been approached numerous times by potential partners and investors seeking to help her expand her business.