- ROBERT WILLIAMS
LVMH Invests in Aimé Leon Dore
The French luxury giant’s venture capital arm is taking a minority stake in the New York streetwear brand founded by Teddy Santis.
LVMH Luxury Ventures, the French luxury conglomerate’s arm dedicated to investing in small creative brands, has taken a minority stake in the New York-based label Aimé Leon Dore for an undisclosed sum.
The streetwear brand was founded in Queens, New York by entrepreneur and creative director Teddy Santis in 2014. Since then, its preppy infused designs have gained traction, reflecting a wider rediscovery of a style that was once a driving force in urban fashion.
Sometimes referred to as “ALD” by its cult following, the brand offers streetwear staples like graphic tees and hoodies alongside more elevated items like rugby shirts, tailored pants and Wallabee lace-ups. The styles harkened back to the iconic fits of ‘90s hip-hop stars like Nas and the WuTang Clan, who employed preppy labels like Tommy Hilfiger in radically oversized silhouettes.
In recent years, Aimé Leon Dore’s unique brand of elevated urban Americana has attracted partnerships with the likes of Woolrich and Clarks — heritage brands seeking to reach a younger, trendier audience. Santis was named creative director of New Balance’s “Made in USA” line last year.
Waterproof wader pants in Aimé Leon Dore's campaign. LVMH is investing in the New York-based brand.(Aimé Leon Dore.)
Recent collections have also seen the brand blend streetwear signatures with workwear references evoking Santis’ Greek heritage, like wooly fishing caps and waterproof wader pants.
Aimé Leon Dore will continue to operate independently out of its NYC offices while receiving support and guidance from LVMH, the company said.
LVMH Luxury Venture’s other investments include luxury label Gabriela Hearst and mystery-box start-up Heat. Previous minority stakes by taken by the unit include Stadium Goods, which sold to Farfetch for $250 million in 2019 and Officine Universelle Buly, a relaunch Napoleon-era maker of skincare and perfumes, which ended up being fully acquired by LVMH in October.