Monday, March 4, 2013

Swiss Billionaire Forms Fortune With Kissing Parties and Desigual

The sun rises electric and the winter is at its best in the cold Helsinki evenings, this brings only memories from the past summer in which I remember walking through the streets of Amsterdam and discovering a great clothing brand "Desigual".

 Then when it was my time to be once again around the streets of Madrid I was shocked and inspired by such  amazing designs, after doing a bit of research and on my sole purpose of making one Million € in less than 5 years I feel great to promote and article of such an interesting fashion brand.

In the streets of New York City more than 300 shoppers lined up outside the Desigual shop in the Soho neighborhood for a free outfit 

“I got out here at 1 a.m.,” said one customer in a video posted by the company on YouTube, her driver’s license stuffed into a pink bra as by passers snapped pictures of the crowd, who were attending a marketing event Desigual called an Undie Party.

Such promotions -- and others, like kissing festivals in London, Paris and Berlin -- have helped make Thomas Meyer, the 50-year-old founder and owner of the Barcelona-based fashion chain, a billionaire.

Desigual, which is Spanish for “atypical,” has tripled its annual sales in the past five years to 700 million Euros ($903 million), according to Orbis, a database of company information published by Bureau van Dijk.

The company sold more than 22 million garments in 2012 through 330 of its own stores and 11,200 other points of sale in more than 100 countries. Meyer has a total net worth of at least $1.1 billion, however he has never appeared on an international wealth ranking.

Desigual is a very unique, fast-growing brand that is doing well globally and is much different from other fashion brands. Their garments are edgy and complex. The company is valued at $1.6 billion, based on the average enterprise value-to- earnings before interest and tax, and enterprise value-to-sales multiples of two publicly traded peers.

Meyer owns all of Desigual, according to Orbis. He controls the company through Dutch holding company Lovelife BV, which he has renamed La Vida Es Chula, or Life is Cool, a Desigual slogan. In December, he bought back a 30 percent stake owned by departing chief executive officer Manel Adell, according to a local media report. The ranking subtracts $500 million from his net worth for the sale, based on the value of that stake in Desigual at the time of Adell’s departure.

The pair met while sailing the Atlantic Ocean in 1992. A decade later, Adell joined the company, first as a consultant and then as chief executive.

Desigual joins a select group of Spanish fashion companies that have flourished in a home market experiencing youth unemployment of more than 50 percent and declining GDP in all six quarters since July 2011.

Chief among them is Amancio Ortega’s Inditex SA (ITX), the world’s largest clothing retailer. Its shares rose 64 percent in 2012, helping the 76-year-old Spaniard to pass Warren Buffett as the world’s third richest man.

The Swiss-born Meyer founded the company in Ibiza, Spain, at age 21, having spent previous summers selling T-shirts on the Mediterranean island known for its nightlife. One of his first popular products was a denim jacket made from discarded jeans, which led him to open his first store in 1986.

Meyer was exporting clothing to France and Portugal within a decade. In 2002, he asked his friend Adell to manage the company’s expansion. The pair focused on bright prints and colors for the clothing and finding prime locations for the stores, such as its flagship London store on Regent Street.

“Desigual is characterized by its optimistic differential designs that are full of color,” Adell said in a 2011 interview with the Moodie Report, a travel retail newsletter.

In the interview, Adell said sales would exceed 1 billion euros in 2014. The company’s new CEO, Manel Jadraque, told business publication Textile Industry that he expected Desigual to have an earnings before interest and taxes margin of 18 percent in 2012, 28 percent more than the average margin of Urban Outfitters and Supergroup.

In January, Desigual took out its first loan, borrowing 200 million Euros to fund expansion into Asia and Latin America, Textile Industry reported.
According to a 2008 account in the Spanish newspaper El Mundo, Meyer prefers to remain in the background, declining interviews and avoiding Desigual store openings.

Those who know him say he is more open in private, the article said, citing people who asked not to be identified.

“In money matters he is Swiss,” the newspaper quoted an acquaintance as saying. “Otherwise he is very Spanish.”


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