Francisco de Narváez is a Colombian-born Argentinian congressman, business leader, and co-founder of Rapsodia, one of Latin America’s leading fashion brands.
In addition to overseeing the label’s commercial success, de Narváez was critical in securing investment in February 2017 from L. Catterton, a consumer-focused venture capital firm whose principal shareholders are LVMH and the Arnault Group, to accelerate the expansion of Rapsodia internationally.
The label was founded in 1999 as Las Cañitas with a small showroom, and grew into an established apparel brand with 90 stores spanning six countries, focusing on boho-chic womenswear and homeware. With a workforce largely driven by over 1000 women, Rapsodia has since undergone large-scale expansion for development into Europe and North America.
De Narváez was born into a family of merchants. His father was a Colombian coffee trader, while his mother’s family owned Casa Tía, a children’s store that became a large supermarket chain upon relocating to Argentina.
At 16, de Narváez began working in the family business, eventually becoming chief executive in 1989, a position he held for ten years. After selling the Argentinian division of the company in 2002, he expanded to alternative endeavours, including the acquisition of La Cronista, a political-economic newspaper, and América TV, one of Argentina’s five main television stations.
De Narváez ventured into politics following the 2001 financial crisis, and was elected as a National Deputy for Buenos Aires Province in 2005, retaining the position until 2015.
L. Catterton’s investment in Rapsodia is the first of its kind in Argentina, and the fourth in Latin America. While the price of the deal was not disclosed, the base amount L Catterton makes in its portfolio investments is $40 million.