Chanel and Brunello Cucinelli have joined forces in an unusual collaboration to secure a minority share in Cariaggi Lanificio, an Italian company renowned for its wool and cashmere manufacturing.
The two brands have agreed to acquire equal stakes of 24.5% each, while the Cariaggi family is expected to retain a majority ownership share of 51%.
Last year, Brunello Cucinelli bought a 43% stake in Cariaggi Lanificio, the brand’s primary cashmere supplier. Out of that 43%, Brunello Cucinelli will sell 18.5% of its stake to Chanel, which will acquire the remaining 6% from the Cariaggi family.
The two brands did not reveal additional details regarding the agreement.
“Preservation of know-how, commitment to exceptional quality and product sustainability are common priorities for both [Chanel and Brunello Cucinelli],” Bruno Pavlovsky, president of fashion at Chanel and president of Chanel SAS, said in a press release. “This is why, through this partnership in Italy, a place of the utmost importance for Chanel, we have decided to associate our two Houses to contribute to the preservation of a truly exceptional cashmere and natural fibers supply chain, of which Cariaggi Lanificio is a recognized leader.”
As 2023 progresses, there is a growing trend of supply chain acquisitions among luxury brands, driven by the pursuit of increased control, efficiency, and improved profit margins. In March, Burberry announced its intention to purchase Pattern, a supplier specializing in technical outerwear, for €21 million.
In recent weeks, OTB Group made headlines by securing a controlling interest in Frassineti, the esteemed Italian leather goods supplier for Jil Sander.
Similarly, Chanel has a track record of acquiring stakes in its suppliers, and in the previous year, it obtained a majority ownership in Paima, an Italian knitwear company. Italy is currently a focal point for supplier acquisitions due to its large concentration of skilled artisans and exceptional craftsmanship. The demand for cashmere, particularly, is surging as younger clientele seek to invest in discreet and sophisticated luxury.
“We are honored to be partnering with Chanel and Brunello Cucinelli to strengthen an industrial plan focused on innovation and sustainability, including the construction of new facilities and the use of sophisticated technologies to ensure ever higher quality cashmere, innovation, and service to our valued customers, without disregarding our profound respect for our territory, environment, sustainability,” Cariaggi Lanificio’s president and CEO, Piergiorgio Cariaggi, said in a statement.
Photo credit: Cariaggi Lanificio