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Fast Retailing (Uniqlo) acquires a minority stake in French brand Lemaire

By Marjorie van Elven


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The relationship between Uniqlo and French label Lemaire has gotten even closer. The Japanese conglomerate Fast Retailing, which owns Uniqlo, has announced the acquisition of a minority stake in Lemaire. The news comes after the launch of two collaborative collections, in 2015 and 2016, and the appointment of Christophe Lemaire, one of the label’s co-founders, to the role of Artistic Director of Uniqlo’s Research & Development Center in Paris, in 2016. The brands did not disclose more details about the acquisition.

”Our appointment of Mr. Christophe Lemaire two years ago was timed to coincide with the opening of our new R&D Center in Paris and the launch of Uniqlo U. This followed a successful initial collaboration, when I was impressed with the outstanding talent of Mr. Lemaire and his experience as a designer", said Tadashi Yanai, President and CEO of Fast Retailing, in a statement. “"I am pleased to deepen our partnership with Mr. Lemaire even more, and I hope that our new level of involvement will help to facilitate further growth and development of the brand Lemaire”.

Fast Retailing announces new phase of partnership with Lemaire

"Working with Uniqlo has proven extremely stimulating. I have deep respect for Mr. Yanai's LifeWear philosophy, and we share a common vision of what clothes should be: democratic, functional and qualitative for people in everyday life”, added Christophe Lemaire, who left his post as Artistic Director of Womenswear at Hertmès to start his namesake label alongside designer Sarah-Linh Tran in 2014.

"This partnership is a coherent and natural evolution of Fast Retailing's relationship with the brand Lemaire. We fully agreed with Fast Retailing that we will pursue organic growth, and we are very much looking forward to develop the brand with their support and confidence", said Tran in the statement.

Photo: Uniqlo Facebook

Fast Retailing