valentino: qatar > italy, eyed by the emir

Rumor has it that PERMIRA, the holding company behind VALENTINO, is set to offload the fabled house imminently.

Guess who's buying?

QATAR HOLDINGS; the reigning Royal Family's hyper-liquid investment vehicle.

Though unconfirmed by PERMIRA, REUTER'S is reporting that QATAR HOLDINGS is to shell out close to 550 million for the brand.

The acquisition would be another star in the family's growing luxury goods portfolio; they currently hold stakes at PORSCHE and LVMH. They also retain full and private ownership of London's HARROD'S department store.

Moreover, there may be a bit of emotional investment here as well: it is well documented that SHEIKHA MOZAH, the Emir of Qatar's wife, is a die-hard fan of VALENTINO dresses.

No word on whether PIER PAOLO PICCIOLI and MARIA GRAZIA CHIURI will stay at the helm should the sale go through (judging by their latest and perhaps greatest couture collection, we'd hope and assume they'd be kept).

Interestingly, a minority position in up-and-coming American brand PROENZA SCHOULER is also included in the sale.

It's amazing to witness the Gulf as it evolves, and it's impressive to see Qatar in particular invest it's substantial resources in fashion; natural gas can't last forever, but maybe-just-maybe a VALENTINO gown can...

9 July 2012