2009 September 17
(NEW YORK) Editors aren't the only ones watching the studied evolution of Rodarte designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy. LVMH North America chairman Renauld Dutreil was given a prime front-row seat at the Mulleavy's show on Tuesday, prompting a renewed round of speculation that LVMH may be looking to invest in the company. LVMH's interest in Rodarte was said to begin following their May 2009 CFDA win for women's wear designers of the year; during the couture 2010 collections in Paris, retailers and other industry insiders speculated freely, but Dutreil's appearance at the show adds heft to all the chatter. Dutreil did not respond to a request for comment; a representative for Rodarte declined to discuss the matter.
This would not be the first time that the French luxury conglomerate would take a stake in an American fashion brand. LVMH acquired a majority stake in Marc Jacobs in 1996; the designer was named creative director at Louis Vuitton shortly thereafter. LVMH then purchased Donna Karan International in 2001 for $243 million. LVMH also owns American beauty brands such as MAKE UP FOR EVER, Benefit Cosmetics, and Fresh.
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