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Is 1017 Alyx 9SM about to be acquired?

According to rumours, it could be about to happen

Is 1017 Alyx 9SM about to be acquired? According to rumours, it could be about to happen

A rumor that had been circulating in the industry underground for some time received yesterday, if not confirmation, at least an acknowledgment of verisimilitude. According to WWD, Hong Kong entrepreneur Adrian Cheng, a prominent businessman in Asia's corporate landscape, may be interested in investing in 1017 Alyx 9SM, Matthew Williams' Milan-based brand. Details remain shrouded in mystery at the moment, but insiders suggest that some discussions have indeed taken place. Cheng represents the third generation of a family that has founded and for many years developed a vast and layered portfolio that today counts some 60 holdings and a value of over 20 billion euros: from real estate development to New World department stores, from the distribution of luxury jewelry and watches to Casetify, Dazed, Shein. Passing through aircraft leasing, healthcare to blockchain, and fashion - of which Cheng, by the way, is quite passionate about being famous as one of Chanel's few male haute couture clients.

But is it conceivable that 1017 Alyx 9SM will be sold? In this, as in many other cases, the capital of a tycoon like Adrian Cheng might even serve only for an investment and not an outright acquisition. Nonetheless, when a mega-industrial group moves its capital, it is unlikely to move it for mere financing, especially for a brand like Matthew M. Williams' which remains all in all small and independent but whose business could be taken to a more imposing scale. Historically, then, the idea of an Asian group acquiring a Western brand is almost the norm: the Harvey Nichols department stores in London, the SMPC group of Sandro Paris and Du Fursac, and also the Italian Cerruti 1881, for example, have been bought for millions by Chinese conglomerates and investment funds in recent years, while remaining based in Europe and managed by their founders, depending on the case of course.

1017 Alyx 9SM is a brand that has established a name for itself, enough to propel Matthew M. Williams into Givenchy's creative direction, but not enough to leave it entirely unscathed by the implosion of the streetwear bubble that, after Covid, essentially swept away a number of luxury streetwear brands that no one talks about anymore. The brand retained its prestige, however, very much based on the powerful aura of Williams, which also brought a high-profile collaboration with Audemars Piguet. No less, selling to a large conglomerate based in Asia would provide access to new capital and, above all, an impressive distribution network in one of the world's most crucial markets. The implicit risk, however, is the over-commercialization of the brand - something that often happens when an independent brand comes up against the performance targets of a large group primarily interested in profitability.