Monogramed luxury fashion startup The Daily Edited (tde.) has new owners, with the owners of budget fashion brand Colette by Colette Hayman (CBCH), acquiring the brand from administrators KordaMentha.
Parent business BJM is owned and chaired by former Myer boss Bernie Brookes. The sale price was not disclosed.
Founded in 2014 by Perth-based former corporate lawyers Alyce Tran and Tania Liu, tde. became a cultural phenomenon, glittering with the celebrity sparkle of Lara Bingle and Hailey Baldwin. It has a flagship store in Sydney’s Queen Victoria Building, plus an online shop and purchase via its social media platforms, offering monogrammed leather products such as diaries, bags, phone cases, wallets and key rings.
But the cofounders had a falling out that led to legal action in 2019 before the matter ended in abruptly in May 2021 when Tran sold her 50% stake in the business to Liu for an undisclosed sum.
Liu placed the business in the hands of Sydney liquidators Chifley Advisory on September 30. A deal to sell the brand prior to the appointment of the liquidator was subsequently terminated and KordaMentha offered the entire tde. business, including stock and IP, for sale last month.
BJM has retained key tde. staff. Brookes will be the major shareholder with Marianne Jones and Anthony Coelho, co-CEOs of CBCH, adding the luxury brand to the portfolio.
Brookes praised KordaMentha for keep tde. trading through the administration and Christmas period.
“Full credit to the KordaMentha team, Kate Conneely and Rahul Goyal, for adopting a strategy that included ongoing trade of tde,” he said.
“tde. has strong local and international brand recognition with a flagship store at the QVB, Sydney, this provides a great foundation to strengthen the brand online, the expansion of bricks and mortar into selected flagship locations and exclusive partnerships. The combination of personalisation, with a premium range of fashionable leather goods, is a unique proposition and continues to be sought after by customers.”
BJM will take full ownership of the business by the end of January 2023.
Brookes said that along with retaining key staff, gift cards will be honoured.
“We have developed a strong plan to stabilise and then continue to build the brand whilst investing in stores and online,” he said.
“In addition, we have a strong supplier base who have indicated their continued ongoing support to tde. and they will continue to immediately provide fresh stock. We see the tde. suppliers as important trade partners and part of our future.”
The deal echoes Brookes stepping in to save CBCH in September 2020 after it fell into into voluntary administration under Sydney entrepreneur Colette Hayman.
The former Myer CEO slashed store numbers from nearly 140 at its peak to 35 and subsequently rebuilt CBCH to 57 stores nationwide, and more than 700 employees.
“Whilst my original decision to take the majority shareholding in CBCH was viewed as contrary at the time, due to the difficulties facing bricks and mortar, we achieved a 300% increase in turnover in our retail store sales despite Covid headwind,” he said.
“Since purchasing CBCH, we have increased store footprint by 60% to 57 stores and turnover by 300%. We have assembled an experienced group of managers, leading our in-house digital, product design and marketing teams to continue our focus on product development, customer centricity and the balance between digital channels, and bricks and mortar. “
The tde. brand will live on too.
“In discussion with the joint CEO’s we will obviously leverage synergies, however it is mandatory in view of the differences in brand personas, that we continue to trade the brands independently,” Brookes said.
Once valued at nearly $14 million when its cofounders, Alyce Tran and Tania Liu, sold a stake in tde to fashion brand Oroton in 2017 for $4.5 million, then bought it back for $2.2 million two years later, revenue for the business peaked at $27.54 million in FY18 before dropping to $23.56 million in FY20.
It’s the second successful sale of an ailing startup for KordaMentha this week, with ASX-listed Kogan.com snapping up furniture retailer Brosa for $1.5 million after it was placed in voluntary administration last week.