Sequoia Capital China, a Beijing-based venture capital firm, has acquired a majority stake in AMI, a popular French fashion label founded by designer Alexandre Mattiussi. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but AMI revealed that its annual turnover exceeded €50 million, showing more than a 50% growth from the previous year. Despite the acquisition, Alexandre Mattiussi will continue as the president and artistic director of AMI, ensuring consistency in the brand’s creative direction. Nicolas Santi-Weil will also retain his position as the managing director, handling the maison’s operations.

This strategic investment follows a trend of Chinese investors purchasing Paris runway brands, with Fosun International acquiring Lanvin in 2015. While Sequoia Capital China has made investments in various companies, including JD.com, Alibaba, Meituan, and Wanda Cinemas, this marks its first venture into the fashion industry.

AMI was established in 2011 by Alexandre Mattiussi, who gained valuable experience working in the menswear design studios of Christian Dior and Givenchy. The brand’s name, AMI, is derived from the designer’s initials and represents his desire to create clothes for his friends, or ‘amis’ in French. Mattiussi’s designs have received critical acclaim and commercial success for their French touch and practical aesthetic. He is also renowned for his unique choice of runway settings, such as showcasing his collection on a boat sailing along the Seine.

In addition to its menswear line, AMI successfully launched a women’s collection in 2018, garnering praise for its modernist style. The brand now boasts flagship boutiques in Paris, the UK, China, and Japan, and is available in over 350 retail locations worldwide.

Both AMI and Sequoia Capital China expressed their excitement about the partnership, as it combines AMI’s creative culture and commitment to digitalization with Sequoia Capital China’s global reach and expertise. The collaboration aims to add a new chapter to the brand’s history and accelerate its digital transformation in local markets.

Sequoia Capital, which positions itself as a team that supports ambitious founders in creating legendary companies, focuses on three sectors: Technologies, Media, Telecommunications (TMT), consumption, and health. With almost 600 partnerships in China over the years, Sequoia Capital has provided support and invaluable insights from its 49-year history.

Sequoia Capital China’s acquisition of a majority stake in AMI underscores the growing interest of Chinese investors in renowned Parisian fashion brands. This partnership has the potential to enhance AMI’s global presence and success, while also driving the ongoing digital transformation of the fashion industry.

useful links:

1. Alexandre Mattiussi’s BOF Profile

2. Sequoia Capital China Backs AMI (Business of Fashion)