PARIS, France — French clothing label The Kooples, which competes with "affordable luxury" brands like Sandro or Whistles, is in talks to be taken over by private Swiss investor Maus Frères, the companies said on Wednesday.
Maus — which bought Lacoste, the French sportswear label famed for its crocodile logo, in 2012 — entered exclusive negotiations with shareholders of The Kooples, which was founded by three siblings, the firms said in a joint statement.
The brand has developed an edgy, slightly rock-and-roll style, and sells dresses roughly in the €400 range — putting it on a par with other French brands like SMCP's Sandro and Maje or family-owned Zadig & Voltaire.
It had a turnover of €227 million ($258 million) in 2018, 10 years after launching, and 334 points of sale centred in Europe and the United States.
So-called affordable luxury brands are competing to carve out a following among shoppers often drawn to cheaper labels for every-day clothes or much higher-end luxury firms for "status" handbags and styles with desirable logos.
Maus, which has a big distribution business with department stores like Swizterland's Manor, also owns Stockholm-based clothing firm Gant, and French puffer jacket maker Aigle.
By Sarah White; editor: Kirsten Donovan.