Shenzhen Ellassay taking Vivienne Tam to China

Apparel company Shenzhen Ellassay Fashion has acquired a majority stake in New York-based Chinese-American designer Vivienne Tam’s brand rights in China for RMB37 million (US$5.5 million).

The Chinese group bought out French contemporary brand Iro in March for RMB790 million via a subsidiary. It also owns the Chinese midmarket brand Ellassay as well as the China brand rights to German womenswear label Laurel and the brand rights to American apparel brand Ed Hardy for China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.

Shenzhen Ellassay’s revenue ballooned 36 per cent to RMB1.13 billion last year, while net income grew 24 per cent to RMB197.95 million. The company went public in 2015.

“Our goal is to eventually become a high-end fashion group,” says chairman Xia Guoxin.

“The Vivienne Tam brand has a distinctive personality and complements our current portfolio… I have known Vivienne for many years; we trust each other a lot.”

Vivienne Tam will run independently in China, but the designer says she will work closely with the Shenzhen Ellassay design team. The company plans to open the first Vivienne Tam store on the mainland this year, with more to come next year.

Born in Guangzhou, Tam grew up in Hong Kong before launching her namesake label in New York in 1994. She has closed her boutique in New York City but retains an e-commerce outlet and a presence each season at New York Fashion Week. Her sales are currently concentrated in Japan, where she has more than 14 shops, and Hong Kong as well as Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines. She retains sole ownership of her company outside of China.

“It’s a dream come true for me to have a partner in China,” says Tam, who had tried to open her own stores there years ago.

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