A report in the the wall street journal said the beauty conglomerate is in acquisition talks with the Los Angeles-based luxury fashion brand, who went to market earlier this summer. Estée Lauder has long held the license to Ford’s cosmetics and fragrance lines, which he developed in partnership with the group. (In 2017Tom Ford was on track to generate nearly $2 billion, including eyewear, fragrance, cosmetics, ready-to-wear, men’s and women’s accessories.)
Tom Ford and Estée Lauder declined to comment on the story.
If Estée Lauder acquired Tom Ford, the group would likely choose to license the production and sale of non-beauty categories – including clothing and eyewear – to other companies. Either way, such a deal would mark a shift in strategy for Estée Lauder, which typically acquires pure beauty brands. It could also be his biggest acquisition to date. In recent years, Estée Lauder’s acquisition strategy has gave mixed results. Securing ownership of an ultra-prestigious brand like Tom Ford – which has seen double-digit sales growth post-pandemic – is a less risky bet than a fledgling startup. For Tom Ford, selling to a longtime partner could ease the transition.
The market may be cooling off, but a number of in-demand brands continue to attract backers. BoF identifies the main targets.
The conglomerate’s minority investment in UK-based beauty brand Haeckels signals a beauty acquisition space that prioritizes early-stage companies and greater brand autonomy.
With his brand on track to reach nearly $2 billion in retail sales in 2017, the designer is on a quest for global dominance. The next step ? New York Fashion Week.