GCDS, the streetwear brand co-founded in 2015 by brothers Giuliano and Giordano Calza, has sold a majority stake to Italian private equity Made in Italy Fund, managed by Quadrivio and Pambianco.
Giuliano and Giordano Calza, creative director and chief executive officer, respectively, will maintain their roles in the company and who will keep a “significant direct stake”.
The value of the transaction has not disclosed, but as part of the deal, Patrizio di Marco, a former Gucci chairman and chief executive officer and also a former president of Golden Goose, is co-investing in the brand alongside the private equity firm and will join GCDS’ board.
Commenting on the investment, Giordano Calza, chief executive of GCDS, said in a statement: “It is an honour and a pleasure for my brother Giuliano and I to begin this new partnership. It has been a year of strategic decisions and far-reaching changes aimed at expanding GCDS far beyond what it is today.
“We have built the foundations for a future of controlled, sustainable, and profitable growth. This will lead us to a new exciting and challenging phase for our company, which, thanks to this deal, the experience and help of Patrizio, and the team that will join us, will create unprecedented new opportunities for GCDS, both creative and economical.”
GCDS sells majority stake to Made in Italy Fund and co-investor Patrizio di Marco
The digital-native brand, which targets Gen Z buyers, recorded significant growth in 2020 compared to the previous year, reaching a turnover of more than 20 million euros in just four years. Most of its sales are generated abroad, and it is brand in-demand in Asia. Currently, the brand has over 350 points of sale around the world and seven flagship stores.
The investment from the Made in Italy Fund is aimed at further supporting the brand’s business development through the introduction of an omni-channel strategy aimed at strengthening distribution by favouring the Asian and American markets, as well as to continue growing the online channel, according to a joint statement.
Alessandro Binello, group chief executive of Quadrivio Group, who will chair the GCDS board of directors, added: “We strongly believe in this investment, which enhances the fund’s portfolio in relation to the fashion sector, and which highlights our expertise in the digital field. I believe that GCDS has great potential and that through the development and strengthening of physical and digital distribution channels, it can establish itself internationally among the main contemporary fashion luxury brands.
“The creativity of the founders, combined with the know-how of the fund’s team and the experience of Patrizio Di Marco, will quickly contribute to the achievement of these objectives.”
The acquisition marks the third investment from the Made in Italian Fund in the fashion sector. It acquired a majority stake in Romantic, the Italian brand specialising in the creation and production of custom jewellery and bags in September. It also invested in 120%lino, a leading Italian company in the production of linen and natural fibres.
In addition, Made in Italian Fund is stating that it has plans to complete another acquisition in the fashion sector by the end of 2020.