PARIS, France — LVMH will take a minority stake in Italian fine jewellery brand Repossi, the French luxury conglomerate announced today.
“LVMH is delighted to support the development of Repossi,” said Delphine Arnault, executive vice president of Louis Vuitton and director of LVMH. “We share common values, which [are] based on product excellence and outstanding creativity. Repossi’s success shows a promising future with which we are pleased to be associated.”
“I am very pleased to have the LVMH group’s support and unparalleled experience in the world of high quality crafted products. Its support will be important for us to pursue our strategy and develop our distribution network,” said Gaia Repossi, artistic and creative director of Repossi.
Founded in Turin, Italy, in 1920 by Constantino Repossi, the brand now operates retail stores in Paris and Monte Carlo. Gaia Repossi, the great-granddaughter of the company’s founder, took the reins as artistic and creative director in 2007 at the age of 21.
Under Gaia Repossi’s leadership, Repossi has emerged as an important player in the market for fashion-led fine jewellery. The brand first achieved global recognition for its Berbère collection of minimalist rings and ear cuffs, launched in 2011, which has been worn on the red carpet by the likes of Emma Stone and Diane Kruger.
The move comes in the wake of recent investments in fine jewellery brands by major luxury conglomerates. In 2013, Kering took a majority stake in Italian jeweller Pomellato. Meanwhile Richemont — which already owned Van Cleef & Arpels and Cartier — launched a new fine jewellery brand Giampiero Bodino. With its stake in Repossi, LVMH adds to a portfolio that includes De Beers and Bulgari, which the group bought for $5.2 billion in 2011.
Traditionally, branded jewellery has made up only a small fraction of the total market for fine jewellery, which was valued at $263 billion in 2013, according to global consulting firm McKinsey.
Starting in the 1990s and early 2000s, major luxury fashion houses including Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Dior launched — or revived — their own branded fine jewellery ranges. Hermès launched its first high-jewellery collection in 2010. In 2014, Maison Martin Margiela, owned by Only The Brave (OTB) group, did the same.
Still, in 2013, only 20 percent of fine jewellery sales were branded, with the 10 biggest jewellery groups capturing a mere 12 percent of the market, leaving a sizeable opportunity for branded players to revolutionise the sector and capture market share from generic retailers and small-time traders. According to McKinsey, branded jewellery will comprise 30 to 40 percent of the fine jewellery market by 2020.
Disclosure: LVMH is part of a group of investors who, together, hold a minority interest in The Business of Fashion.