Theory Founder Andrew Rosen Buys Stake In Proenza Schouler

After crossing lots of t’s and dotting lots of i’s, the Italian private equity group Permira has sold a share of the Proenza Schouler brand to a group of American investors led by Theory founder and CEO Andrew Rosen.

Women’s Wear Daily broke news of the sale Friday afternoon. According to its reporting, the sale is being characterized as a recapitalization of the brand that should help it “enter a new phase of development.” How much Rosen, venture capitalist John Howard and the other buyers involved with the deal paid for the young American brand was not disclosed, but if they want to help the brand expand beyond contemporary clothes and one widely knocked-off handbag, they probably plan on making all their money back — and then some.

Proenza Schouler’s designers Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez said in a joint statement with their company’s CEO Shirley cook that they’re looking forward to working with Rosen and Howard on growing their brand. And the investors themselves say they’ve caught fashion lightning in a bottle.

When we look at the current state of American fashion, we see the next generation focused in the advanced contemporary space. We believe that the Proenza business is the future of American luxury, and uniquely poised to compete in a global marketplace, which is currently dominated by European designers. In infusing this brand with our resources and experience, we will position this business to achieve its full potential.

The Valentino Fashion Group (which is now owned by Permira) had owned a 45 percent equity stake in Proenza Schouler, which it acquired for $3.7 million in 2007. But now that Rosen, who is also an investor in Rag and Bone, has his hands on it, we’d be willing to bet its value will very quickly start to rise.

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