LVMH Makes a Deal: Stroll, Chou Buy 85% Stake in Michael Kors

NEW YORK — Silas Chou and Lawrence Stroll added a second luxury brand to their holdings, having struck a deal to acquire a controlling stake of...

Kors also credited LVMH and his position at Celine for helping establish his reputation and for bringing his designs to the attention of European customers, but he was less committal when speaking of the long-term prospects of his future relationship with the house. The year-long extension of his contractual duties is a somewhat unusual announcement for an LVMH designer, considering past deals typically have been for a longer time frame, although it could again be renewed. Marc Jacobs, for instance, signed a seven-year contract to continue at Louis Vuitton last year.

"I am willing to say that I have no idea what the next year will bring," Kors said. "I felt that to be able to give Michael Kors the time it needs, while making such a commitment to Celine, that it might not work. I need to be able to give this my all, since it’s a new venture for me."

Jean-Marc Loubier, president of Celine, said that under Kors’ creative direction, the house has built up its ready-to-wear first, but has recently put a bigger focus on the bags, shoes and accessories.

"We have created a core recognition in design and a commercial range of products in leather goods and shoes that we didn’t have before," he said, noting that sales of leather goods doubled in America in 2002. Kors said the deal will not affect his plans to show his signature fall collection in New York on Feb. 12 or his next Celine show on March 7 in Paris.
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