Anya Hindmarch regains partial control of accessories brand
today Jan 23, 2020
English designer Anya Hindmarch has quietly regained joint ownership of her namesake fashion business, after retaking the chief executive position to lead a turnaround.
She is now co-owner alongside the Marandi family, which acquired a 75% stake in the brand from its long-time backer, the secretive Qatari fund Mayhoola for Investments, in March last year.
This is according to a Companies House filing which shows that Hindmarch now owns between 50% and 75% of the firm’s shares, the Telegraph reported.
The move gives the brand’s founder more control over how the business is run, at a time of considerable change.
Hindmarch founded the handbag company in 1986, and by 1992 her designs were selling in luxury department stores including Harvey Nichols, Harrods and Bergdorf Goodman. The rise of fashion bloggers in 2008 gave it new momentum, with its tongue-in-cheek designs inspired by consumer products like Heinz ketchup and Cadbury’s Dairy Milk proving popular at London Fashion Week.
In 2011, the designer stepped down as chief executive, and since then, the executive leadership has changed several times. Former Harrods executive James McArthur was named CEO to replace her, and he was followed by Helen Wright in 2015, who in turn was replaced by Francesco Giannaccarri in 2017.
The last CEO to lead the company before Hindmarch’s return to the role was Antoine Bejui, who stepped down after the sale to the Marandi family. Hindmarch remained as creative director throughout the past 10 years.
Upon her return to the helm last year, the designer said her priority was to “turn around the business”. The company has struggled to turn a profit in recent years, racking up pre-tax losses of £28 million in 2017. According to annual filings, losses more than halved in 2018 to £12.6 million, but sales plunged by a third to £34.6 million.
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