The Made in Italy Fund has acquired GCDS. The founders of the high-end Italian streetwear brand, brothers Giuliano and Giordano Calza, have sold a majority stake in the company to the investment fund run as a joint venture by management firm Quadrivio Group and communications agency Pambianco.
Neither the value of the transaction nor the exact size of the stake acquired by the fund have been disclosed. However, a press release from GCDS clarifies that both creative director Giuliano and CEO Giordano Calza “will retain a significant direct stake in the company” and will continue in their respective roles.
From now on they will be supported in the management of their men’s and women’s apparel and accessories brand by Patrizio di Marco, former CEO of Gucci, Bottega Veneta and Golden Goose, who has invested in the brand alongside Quadrivio and Pambianco. The executive will also join GCDS’ board of directors, as will Quadrivio CEO Alessandro Binello.
With its offbeat style and ironic tone proving popular with celebrities including Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, Hailey Baldwin and Kim Kardashian, the label has become a real global phenomenon in a few short years, gaining fans from Italy to Asia. In the space of four years, the company has hit 20 million euros in revenues and now boasts seven stores around the world, including locations in London and China. On top of this, the brand’s products are sold by 350 retailers.
In an interview given to FashionNetwork.com last year, Giuliano Calza said that he wanted to keep the company independent. However, in light of the stratospheric rise of GCDS, which has “seen strong growth in 2020” despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the decision to bring in a partner was no doubt necessary in order to allow for the company’s growth at a larger scale.
“We have established the foundations for a future marked by controled, sustainable and profitable growth. This will lead us to a new, exciting and stimulating phase for our company, which, thanks to this kind of investment, and to the experience and support of Patrizio and the team that will be joining us, will create an interesting new scenario for GCDS from a creative and economic point of view,” commented Giordano Calza.
The Made in Italy Fund’s investment will allow GCDS to “further support the development of its operations through the introduction of an omnichannel strategy aiming to strengthen its distribution and prioritize the Asian and American markets, all while continuing to develop its online channel,” explained the release.
The transaction is The Made in Italy Fund’s third investment in the fashion sector, following its acquisition of 120% Lino, an Italian manufacturer of linen and natural-fiber apparel, in 2018, and the purchase of a 60% stake in jewelry and accessories brand Rosantica in September
The fund, which principally invests in promising Italian SMEs operating in the fashion, food, beauty and design sectors, has announced that it is planning another fashion industry transaction this year.