Anyone following Vena Cava will know that last year was a tough one for the brand. After a string of financial problems everything thankfully took a turn for the better last month when Sophie Buhai and Lisa Mayock, the founders and creative forces behind the brand, confirmed that they had secured investment with LF USA. When the news was announced the pair said that they were pleased to be able to pass on the business reigns to someone else and considering that Li & Fung (the subsidiary of LF USA who the pair are working with) have helped make brands like Keds and Rachel Zoe a success, it's safe to say that they are in good hands.
Buhai reiterated this in a recent interview with Refinery 29 saying, 'We reached a point where we realized that in order to take the brand where we wanted it to go, we needed a strategic partner to help with the back-end. We were sick of getting caught up in logistics and wanted to spend more time on the product and on being creative. LF reached out to us. It was a strange psychic thing and everything fell into place,' she said and so far so good. 'We've been working with LF now for a few months, and it's far beyond what we had thought it might be. They're experts at sourcing, tech design, fabrication, manufacturing, and many other things that can be extremely difficult for a small brand to get a handle on. But at the same time, they understand that we're the experts when it comes to our brand and our customer, and are totally open to letting us continue to do awesome and weird branding projects like our online garage sale, non-fashion-persons' Fashion's Night Out, zines and anything else that helps our brand maintain its 'personal-ness,' Mayock added.
While Marchesa may be loved by women everywhere, not many people can afford the hefty price tag that naturally comes along with their clothes. Compared to other luxury brands the high price points at Marchesa do make sense to certain extent. After all, far from offering up expensive jeans and t-shirts (hello Balmain), their collections don't often extend beyond bridal wear and red carpet worthy gown, which are generally things you would expect to shell out on. If new reports are anything to go by though, that's all about to change.
This morning WWD confirmed that the brand are in talks with LF USA, the U.S. subsidiary of Li & Fung, about launching a new contemporary line and while both parties are staying quiet at the moment 'an announcement could be imminent.'
The line is definitely a good step. In this current climate accessible lines are a proving to be a real earner for even the big brands so it was only a matter of time before Marchesa followed suit. The brand is so well known for glamour so I'm sure that women will buy pieces from the collection to try and tap into that spirit. How designers Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig will translate the aesthetic of the mainline onto an affordable collection is the challenge.
2011 end in a bad way for Vena Cava. As well as not being able to show their S/S12 collection reports confirmed that they had had to lay off a lot of staff and were forced to move out of their Soho headquaters due to financial problems caused by a loss of a major investor earlier on in the year. But don't worry. The brand are up and moving in a good direction again.
This week the brand released a press release explaining that their money woes had subdued after they managed to ink a new licencing partnership with Li & Fung subsidiary LF USA, which also works with everyone from Keds to Rachel Zoe. Under the arrangement founders Sophie Buhai and Lisa Mayok will continue to design and work on the creative side while LF UK will take over the business side. But that's not all. To try and bring in a profit in the coming year the brand is set to expand into new product categories too.