As of Thursday, April 6, 2017
Los Angeles–based Velvet LLC, owner of the Velvet by Graham and Spencer label, has been acquired by Adastria Co. Ltd., a $1.8 billion Japanese apparel company. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“Velvet is a distinguished brand in the U.S. contemporary market, and we are delighted to welcome Velvet to the Adastria group,” said Masa Matsushita, Adastria’s representative director and chief operating officer, in a company statement. “This latest acquisition allows us to establish a strategic presence in North America and in the world of contemporary fashion, as we seek to transform Adastria into a leading global apparel company.”
Matsushita said Adastria has a track record of growing brand and businesses through the company’s “strong value-chain management and brand management strategy.”
“We have strong expertise in retail operations with more than 1,400 retail stores and e-commerce operations throughout Japan and Asia,” he said. “Working together with Velvet’s management team, we will accelerate the brand’s growth, especially in the direct-to consumer channels as we apply our expertise in retail and value-chain management.”
This is Adastria’s second U.S. apparel acquisition. Last year, the company acquired a minority interest in San Francisco–based Marine Layer Inc.
“Building upon our investments in Velvet and Marine Layer, we aim to strategically enhance our global brand portfolio moving forward,” Matsushita said.
Founded in 1997, Velvet produces “modern, sophisticated staples with laid-back California attitude” for women and men. The company has eight U.S. retail stores and sells in premium department stores and high-end boutiques in the U.S. and overseas.
“This is a great opportunity for both companies,” said Velvet Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Henry Hirschowitz. “Velvet will provide a solid platform for Adastria, allowing the company to expand its presence in the North American Market. In addition, Velvet will greatly benefit from Adastria’s extensive resources which will enhance our product range and appeal in a greater way to our Velvet customer. Furthermore, with Adastria’s knowledge in retail and online, we feel strongly that further opportunities for Velvet will materialize. We are extremely fortunate and honored to become part of the Adastria Family of brands. The Velvet team is totally committed to making a meaningful contribution to Adastria Co, Ltd.”
Hirschowitz founded Velvet with Jenny Graham in 1997 and were later joined by Toni Spencer. The company has collaborated in the past with model Lily Aldridge and has another collaboration planned for summer with model Kirsty Hume.
Tokyo-based Adastria was founded in 1953. The publicly traded company operates 1,358 retail stores in Japan and 108 stores overseas, owns 21 brands including apparel, lifestyle and restaurants.