Belgian designer Dries Van Noten has sold a majority stake in his business to Spanish fashion and fragrance house Puig, also home to Carolina Herrera and Jean Paul Gaultier.
Van Noten, who established his label in 1986, will remain a significant minority shareholder and will continue as the brand’s creative director. One of the original Antwerp Six designers, along with Walter Van Beirendonck, Ann Demeulemeester, Dirk Van Saene, Dirk Bikkembergs and Marina Yee, Van Noten is a graduate of Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts.
It had been reported earlier this year that the designer, noted for his masterful treatment of colour and pattern, had appointed advisers to look into a potential sale of the business.
“I have been searching for a strong partner for the company which I have built for more than 30 years. I am especially happy that Antwerp and my team will remain at the company’s heart and center. Our relationship with our customers is a cherished one and will only benefit from this enhanced vision,” he said in a statement.
The designer has stores in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Paris and Seoul and is stocked in multi-brand stores including Barneys, Saks Fifth Avenue, Le Bon Marché, Harrods, Lane Crawford and Harvey Nichols. His independent status as a label has meant that he has been able to thus far steer clear of some of the expected expansion paths for luxury brands such as pre-collections, celebrity endorsements and fragrance.
Puig is primarily known as a fragrance house producing perfumes for the likes of Prada and Valentino. Its last fashion house purchase was Jean-Paul Gaultier in 2011 while more recent acquisitions have been in the fragrance space, such as Penhaligon’s and L’Artisan Parfumeur. Industry watchers speculate that the Van Noten by may be the start of a bigger push into fashion.