Castanea picks stake in fashion brand Proenza Schouler

23 Jun '15
3 min read

Castanea Partners has joined existing investors and acquired a minority stake in Proenza Schouler, a New York based luxury fashion brand.

“Proenza Schouler is a global luxury accessories and women’s apparel business with operations in more than 20 countries worldwide,” a Castanea press release said.

Founded by Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, the designers have been at the forefront of fashion, and have garnered numerous awards, including five CFDA awards for their designs in womenswear and accessories.

“CEO Shirley Cook, who has been with the company since it was founded, will be stepping down as part of the transaction,” Castanea added.

“She has played a pivotal role in the development of the brand and recently spearheaded the investment by Castanea Partners and a licensing deal with L’Oréal to launch the brand’s first fragrance,” it noted.

Ron Frasch, former president and chief merchandising officer at Saks Fifth Avenue and currently an operating partner at Castanea, will be joining Proenza Schouler’s board of directors.

Frasch will assume responsibilities as interim CEO and will be joined by Brian Knez, a managing partner at Castanea in the Proenza Schouler’s board of directors.

Other board members include Rose Marie Bravo, former CEO of Burberry Group Plc, John Howard, CEO of Irving Place Capital, and Andrew Rosen, CEO of Theory, Inc.

“Proenza Schouler is an exciting opportunity for Castanea and we very much look forward to working closely with the Proenza Schouler team to support the company’s continuing growth,” said Ron Frasch.

“Jack and Lazaro, together with Shirley, have created a leading luxury brand with an award winning aesthetic and a compelling mix of categories, channels, and geographies,” he too added.

“Proenza Schouler is uniquely positioned in the luxury ready-to-wear and accessories market,” said Brian Knez.

“We are very excited about the company’s tremendous potential to build on its distinct brand DNA and immense creative talent to continue to develop as an iconic worldwide brand,” Knex observed.

Co-founders Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez said, "We are very excited to embark on this new chapter with the help of Castanea Partners.”

“They have a deep understanding of the business and a great respect for our creative vision and together, we are committed to developing the Proenza Schouler brand globally," the duo informed.

Castanea Partners is a middle-market consumer-focused private equity firm founded by operating executives and private equity professionals.

It partners with promising small to middle-market companies in branded consumer products and services, including companies in the luxury fashion apparel, accessories, and jewelry sectors.

Castanea typically invests between $15-75 million of equity in businesses where it has significant operating and investing expertise.

Castanea has over $1 billion of funds under management and is currently investing from a $600 million fourth fund. (AR)

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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