Tanner Krolle: Investor merry-go-round

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Just the other day we were commenting on the importance of a good fit between a brand, its management and the underlying creative talent.

Today’s WWD says that Tanner Krolle, the prestigious English leather goods brand is back on the block, after a falling-out between Albion Investors and its second creative and management team for Tanner Krolle. It’s further proof that investing in fashion and luxury is not for the faint-of-heart or the short-of-luxury-experience (Albion’s other investments include companies involved with shelter design and manufacturing, home healthcare services, solid waste services, and crude oil transportation services).

In the past year, the design aesthetic and creative vision of Tanner Krolle had been beautifully refined by Manuela Morin as a discreet luxury brand (perhaps  it is not surprising that she has experience at Bottega Veneta.)

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A friend in Los Angeles over the summer was raving about the Tanner Krolle handbag she had bought (pictured left). And, the weekender bag (pictured right) recently caught our eye in the hands of a friend and work colleague. Both are emblematic of the refined simplicity that Morin was injecting into the brand.

Now, just as the brand was benefiting from some renewed creative vigour, it seems Morin’s creative reign is over after both she and the CEO, Martin Mason, unexpectedly resigned last month over what WWD called “strategic direction and funding-related issues.”

Speculation is mounting that Concetta Lanciaux, formerly of LVMH, is in discussions to bring in a new management team and investor group to take over the brand.  This would be the third set of new investors for Tanner Krolle in an as many years. At least Lanciaux comes with luxury experience which means there could still be hope for Tanner Krolle yet.

Photos courtesy of Tanner Krolle