Loro Piana Brothers Become Billionaires Selling Cashmere to LVMH


Sergio and Pier Luigi Loro Piana, the brothers who head Italian cashmere clothier Loro Piana SpA, have emerged as billionaires after agreeing to sell 80 percent of the family-owned company to LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA.

LVMH’s 2 billion euro ($2.57 billion) purchase is subject to approval by competition authorities, the Paris-based company said yesterday in a statement. The deal gives Quarona, Italy- based Loro Piana an enterprise value of 2.7 billion euros. Enterprise value is defined as market capitalization plus cash minus debt. The Loro Piana brothers will retain 20 percent of the business, LVMH said.

“LVMH has proved that it respects and nurtures family businesses and is most likely to respect the values and traditions of our maison,” the brothers said in the statement.

Each brother has a net worth of at least $1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, based on their respective 10 percent stakes in Loro Piana and after-tax proceeds from the sale.

A spokeswoman for Loro Piana confirmed the company was entirely family-owned before the LVMH purchase, and declined to comment on individual holdings. Each of the brothers owned 38 percent of the company, according to a 2007 article published in Milan newspaper Corriere della Serra. The balance was held by their sister, Lucia, and mother, Ellen Nathan.

Orbis, a database of company information published by Bureau van Dijk, showed Pier Luigi, Sergio and Lucia, as shareholders.

Fine Fabrics

The Loro Piana family has been trading wool and fabrics since the early 1800s, according to the company’s website. The current company was founded in 1924 by Pietro Loro Piana in Italy’s Piedmont region. Pietro’s nephew Franco — Pier Luigi and Sergio’s father — began exporting fine fabrics to international markets in the 1940s. Pier Luigi, 61, and Sergio, 65, took over in the 1970s, and developed the brand and expanded into luxury retail.

The brothers alternate the roles of president and vice president at Loro Piana, and will continue to run the company, said LVMH.

The company is the biggest western producer of cashmere and the largest single purchaser of the extra-fine merino wools in Australia and New Zealand, according to LVMH. In 1994, Loro Piana was awarded the exclusive rights to reintroduce vicuna fiber, made from the silky wool of an animal found only in the Andes.

Loro Piana, which sells deerskin jackets for $5,680 and cashmere sweaters for $1,594, is expected to have revenues of 700 million euros this year from 631 million euros in 2012, according to LVMH.

The brothers join another Italian knitwear billionaire, Brunello Cucinelli, founder of Solomeo-based Brunello Cucinelli SpA, whose shares have jumped almost 80 percent in the past year on demand for its luxurious garments, such as cashmere cardigans and $4,530 suede jackets.

Courtesy The Business of Fashion

Top Italian designer opens shop in Nairobi

SDF Launch Interview

Renown Italian master tailoring label Salvatore Di Francisca has opened its first store in the East and Central African region, bringing to customers high end tailoring services. The store, which is located in Nairobi’s Village Market Mall, will offer customers authentic Italian tailoring experience using the world’s leading manufacturers of fine fabrics - Loro Piana, characterised by the high standards of craftsmanship, quality and enriched experience since 1924.

“The Loro Piana customer is one who wants the very best of everything. This customer knows that a suit is not just a suit; it is an expression of oneself,” said Salvatore. “Each suit is meticulously measured, cut and sewn by hand to create a garment that honours the Italian tradition of tailoring and is as unique as each customer.”

Master craftsman Salvatore is famous for his attention to detail and his contribution to the design and making of football club Real Madrid’s dress uniforms, and has worked with exclusive clients in Europe, Asia and the United States of America. The 80-year-old tailor is known for his signature takes on handmade, made to measure garments, which take into account the unique features of every customer and highlight the best of these features.

Speaking at the opening of the store Amin Premji, Director of Fairmove Group Ltd – which manages the Salvatore Di Francisca Brand – said, “As you all know nobody makes suits like the Italians, who have been designing them since the 1860s. What we are offering our clients at this store is the unique Italian experience; the same one they would enjoy if they walked into another Bespoke Store store in Italy, China or the United States.”

Courtesy The Star

About Master Tailor, Salvatore Di Francisca

Master Tailor, Salvatore Di FranciscaMaster Tailor, Salvatore Di Francisca

Master Tailor, Salvatore Di Francisca was born in Polizzi Generosa on 14th July 1933. Polizzi Generosa is a small town in the heart of Palermo's hinterland. The town is famous because it is the place of birth of Domenico Dolce (of the Dolce & Gabbana fame). Domenico Dolce’s father Saverio, a senior tailor, taught Salvatore the art of tailoring. In 1950, when he was just seventeen years old, he left his home town and went to Palermo. While in Palermo, he continued his training at the tailor's shop "F.lli Traina". Back then it was the most important and prestigious tailor's shop in the whole of Southern Italy.

During the "big jump" of 1958, Salvatore went to Milan, where he became part of Italy's greatest tailoring shop "La Baratta", located in Saint Babila's Square. In the next four years he sharpened his art and discovered the secrets of sartorial tailoring. In 1962, due to Salvatore’s dedication, hard work and impressive growth in the field, Mr. Baratta invited him to move to Beirut, Lebanon in order to run a branch shop. While there, he made handmade made to measure garments for the most exclusive clients. In fact, it was in this period where he had the opportunity to make suits for the great Actor Omar Sharrif, thanks to the filming of “Doctor Zivago” movie.

He came back to Italy ten years later in 1972. By then, mass production of garments had replaced handmade tailoring. This development and others that were happening in the industry brought change in Salvatore professional life. He started collaborating with important factories like "Corneliani" from 1972 to 1976, "Geri Uomo" until 1987, and finally “Giudice Confezioni”.

Giudice Confezioni is a historic Sicilian factory and Salvatore established a long-lasting and intense relationship with the owners while working as made to measure manager. One of the greatest successes that the partnership between  Salvatore and Giudice produced is the creation of Real Madrid Football Club’s dress uniform. Real Madrid is the world's most prestigious football team.

About Assistant Tailor Christofer Kaprelian

Assistant Tailor Christofer KaprelianAssistant Tailor Christofer Kaprelian

Christofer has been in the sartorial business from a young age and learnt the fundamentals of his trade from the renowned Italian tailoring genius Mr. Antonio Papparella. Outside Italy, Christofer has learnt and worked with famous French, British and Irish tailors. This has enabled him to have a more comprehensive outlook of his craft and increased his passion for bespoke tailoring.

Over the years Christofer have been stylist and tailor to many important client from Shanghai to Caracas. In collaboration with his mentor Mr. Antonio Papparella, he has tailored garments for Hollywood stars, such as Pierce Brosnan and Anne Hathaway among other VIPs such as the current President of Paraguay.