The private investment firm of Australian billionaire Dr Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest and his wife Nicola has acquired a minority stake in Sydney-based luxury fashion brand CAMILLA in a deal that is understood to be worth roughly $40 million.
Tattarang’s capital injection marks the first time CAMILLA has made an investment partnership since it was launched in 2004 by Camilla Franks at Australian Fashion Week.
Best known for its distinctive prints and bold designs, the fashion brand is sold across 65 countries, boasting 22 boutiques in Australia and three in the US.
The backing from Tattarang comes more than two years after it acquired Adelaide-based bootmaker RM Williams in a deal reportedly worth $190 million.
Franks said she was delighted to welcome Tattarang as an investor and partner in CAMILLA.
“I’ve finally found the perfect partner to help us colour the world. Partnering with Nicola and the Tattarang family is the perfect brand fit for our future vision,” Franks said.
“Through purposeful storytelling, creative and conscious empowerment and shared values and dreams we can take the business to a wider world stage.
“Together, we can elevate women on a global scale, harnessing the amazing artistic talent Australia has to offer, and lead with passion.”
As part of its philanthropic activities, CAMILLA is currently directing funds towards The Hunger Project’s Elected Women’s Representative Program – a project that helps educate women in northern India after they win council seats in the state of Rajasthan, where 50 per cent of seats are assigned to females.
It comes five years after the brand partnered with the same charity to help 1,000 girls living in Bihar, North India improve their lives and learn of their rights through education.
The project stopped 578 child marriages and helped 311 girls re-enrol in school between 2018-2020. It also saw 92 per cent of girls remain unmarried through the Adolescent Girls program.
CAMILLA also has a donation arm, which pledged $20,000 to Cairns-based reef conservation and research charity Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and $50,000 to eight different charities assisting Australians affected by bushfires.
The company’s swimwear range is crafted using Econyl – an Italian textile made from recycled materials salvaged from the ocean to create nylon. In addition, the brand’s polyester board shorts are made from post-consumer waste.
Nicola Forrest said she was actively working to level the playing field for female entrepreneurs and woman-led or founded businesses, with Tattarang allocating capital both directly and via early-stage female-focused funds.
“It’s time for change: I believe that equal is greater and that having gender as a focus will deliver results for both women and men,” Forrest said.
“This is good for business because there is a strong correlation between gender equality and organisational success across profitability, attraction and retention of best talent and business reputation.
“We will support the next generation of women entrepreneurs who are willing to take a risk and back their dreams — Australia needs more entrepreneurs like Camilla Franks.”
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