Paris-based apparel brand Officine Générale has sold a “large minority” stake to New York-based investment fund The Untitled Group, as well as securing a new round of investment from the French state-backed fund Bpifrance, the brand said Friday.
Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.
Pierre Mahéo, the brand’s founder, will remain majority shareholder.
Officine Générale is one of a cohort of brands that found success in marketing insouciant, timeless Parisian style at accessible luxury price points. Since its creation in 2012, it has built a devoted following for its menswear, which offers a dressed-down angle on tailoring. The brand’s $280 trousers and $400 jackets feature looser cuts and incorporate sturdy, workwear-inspired fabrics for customers who want to dress up (but only a little bit) while remaining cosy.
The brand, whose sales and revenue are not publicly reported, added womenswear in 2017.
Interest in the brand has risen since the pandemic, Officine Générale’s founder Pierre Mahéo said. Sales growth has been driven by shoppers who got bored of wearing sweatpants, but still want to hang onto the comfort and ease they enjoyed working from home, he said.
While the brand’s retail business in Paris and London took a hit during coronavirus lockdowns, a strong rebound with local customers when stores reopened last summer has Mahéo feeling bullish on brick-and-mortar. He says he used data from e-commerce to locate his client base and map out plans for opening roughly a dozen locations over the next three years.
Officine Générale was championed by Barneys in its early years and took a hit when the New York-based retailer collapsed in 2019. But it’s bounced back in the US and now has over 50 wholesale accounts there.
Now Mahéo wants to establish a retail footprint in the country, starting with a New York flagship and showroom and a boutique in Los Angeles.
New locations in Europe are set to include Munich, Geneva and Lyon, he said.