Christian Lacroix has certainly come a long way!
In the past six months, the designer has filed for bankruptcy and faced fruitless promises of salvation, but things are finally going in his direction. Hassan bin Ali al-Nuaimi, nephew of United Arab Emirates ruler Ajman, is poised to purchase the high-end brand. Ready to send out his $70 million check, all he needs now is approval from a French court and the sheik will become the majority shareholder of the company.
If all goes swimmingly, al-Nuaimi has big plans for the Christian Lacroix brand: the wealthy investor intends to turn the fashion-focused label into a luxury lifestyle brand. Very, very luxury, that is. He says, "The idea is not to focus on fashion by itself. We are discussing different activities in leisure… private jets, hotels, high-quality yachts, palaces, and interior decoration. We will focus on very exclusive areas and don't want to sell his name cheap in the market."
Hm. Maybe he missed this memo?
Who in their right mind is buying private jets in this economic climate?
Most designers are taking their name into lower-end markets to generate some dough in tough times. For instance, Rodarte has created a collection for Target. Badgley Mischka is creating a line for HSN. Liz Claiborne penned deals with J.C. Penny and QVC. Now is the time to be more accessible, not more exlusive.
Accordingly, it seems that the reasoning behind this move has little to do with the economy. al-Nuami says, "It's a little strange for Arab people to get into the fashion business. I want to focus on something different that no one is competing with in this region."
Well, we're rooting for you! And while we think private jets and yachts are probably not the most business-savvy idea, we love the prospect of Christian Lacroix home goods and furnishings. Can't wait to see that!
The French court is expected to make a decision by the end of this month. Stay tuned!
[Image via AP Images.]