We were already looking forward to a number of revamped heritage brands this year, and now comes news of two more to add to the list. Apparently, a French entrepreneur named Arnaud de Lummen has been quietly taking over trademark rights to storied brands that have fallen by the wayside. The two big ones he’s revamping and shopping to investors now are Mainbocher, the couture house, and Herbert Levine, the American luxury shoemaker.
Previously, De Lummen successfully relaunched Vionnet and Moynat, the trunkmaker. Slightly farther down the line, he also has plans for Belber, the Philadelphia trunkmaker that was founded in 1891 but has lain dormant for the past 42 years. De Lummen’s company, Luvanis, specializes in discovering these “sleeping beauties.” Besides acquiring their trademark rights and intellectual property, he fortifies his acquisitions by hunting down antique versions of the brands’ goods. Moynat, for instance, displays 20 of the label’s original trunks in its new Parisian boutique.
What’s the allure of these dormant brands? De Lummen tells WWD “When you relaunch, you already have a story to tell.…After a few years, people completely forget that the brand was dormant. People think it’s always been there.” For a luxury company looking to diversify its holdings, that built-in historical leverage is golden.