Needless to say, the court ruling that would all but wipe out Christian Lacroix has plenty of people up in arms - including France's industry minister, Christian Estrosi. The government leader published an online statement this week claiming that Dubai's financial trouble probably prevented Ajman sheikh Hassan Bin Ali al-Nuaimi from turning in his required financial guarantees in time to take over the legendary couture house. Now, Estrosi is said to be calling on his network of diplomats in the UAE to "alert the sheikh of the urgency of the situation".
To add to the drama, Lacroix himself has said he doesn't want to work with his current parent company, Falic Group, on any projects in the future. Should the business launch ready-to-wear or accessories divisions using a new license, the couturier might cut ties. At this point, it doesn't sound like the holiday season will be overly festive for anyone involved in the Lacroix ordeal.
We reported a few weeks ago that things were finally looking up for Lacroix, as it seemed as though the French label had finally found a buyer, in the form of Hassan Bin Ali al-Nuaimi, the sheikh. Having reportedly offered to purchase the ailing company for a staggering $100 million, insiders thought the woes of the haute couture label were finally over, as the deal was expected to go through by 27 October. As this date approached, the decision to sell was further pushed back to earlier this week, which was thought to be sufficient time for all the sale to be finalised.
Wishful thinking, some would say, as the sale has once again be postponed to 1 December, as it was confirmed, at a tribunal meeting on Tuesday this week, that the sheikh "could not show the documentation certifying the funds needed for the acquisition were available." Despite this obvious setback, Lacroix's CEO, Nicolas Topiol, spoke to WWD and confirmed that, "We are still hopeful that any of the plans can be finalised. The Ajman offer remains out preference." Christian Lacroix added that, "I remain confident in the sheik's will." What is clear is that if the sheikh fails to come up with the necessary paperwork by the given date, Lacroix's fate will rest in the hands of the Falic Group, who are the current owners of the brand.
With Hassan bin Ali al-Nuaimi - nephew of the ruler Ajman - so close to rescuing the financially doomed Lacroix, could it be that the French luxury goods company will be acquired and go onto expand into the private jet and yacht market? Reports suggest that wealthy al-Nuaimi has plans to turn the label into a fully fledged lifestyle brand, exclusively for the richest people in the world, as he tells Reuters - "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". With his $70million cheque at the ready, and Christian Lacroix in his favour, only time will tell before we may possibly be able to shop, sleep and travel, Lacroix style, or at least lust after it.
Good news for Christian Lacroix! The financially troubled couture house, which went bankrupt and nearly busted before the July couture shows, has a new investor who's closing in on a deal. After Italy's Borletti Group backed out of a buyout, an Ajman sheikh, Hassan bin Ali al Nuaimi, has come to the forefront of potential buyers. Sources say the potential deal is "overall very satisfactory", so hopefully this means Lacroix can start making a profit - after not doing so for its 22 years of business.
Al-Nuaimi, the nephew of a ruler of the United Arab Emirates' Ajman, reportedly would fork over 70 million euros to allow the couture house to keep its staff and then form a new business plan. Borletti intends to help the deal go through, since bids from France's Bernard Krief Consulting and Financiere Saint-Germain didn't go anywhere.
All we say: We hope this is wrapped up by the next round of couture shows.