LVMH has decided to discontinue its collaboration with Edun, the ecological brand produced in Africa founded by the activist Ali Hewson together with her husband Bono Vox, questioning the existence of the brand

Karl Lagerfeld and Ali Hewson, to the left of Bernard Arnault. Beside her is Bono.

A spokesman for LVMH confirmed that the luxury giant would be returning its stake in Edun, without demanding compensation in any financial compensation.

The brand’s only store, located at 265 Lafayette Street, in one of New York’s most famous shopping districts, had been closed last month. It seems that even any project for the production of other collections has been abandoned.

“In light of a joint business review, Edun is restructuring its activities to prepare its next chapter and LVMH will return its shares to the founders of the brand. The latter are committed to engaging in Edun’s mission to create sustainable fashion and thank LVMH for its support and involvement, “said the French group in a statement.

The brand – launched with great fanfare and with great media hype in 2004 – has been recording losses on losses for years.

According to the accounts sent to the Irish authorities, Edun lost 5.3 million euros in 2016. Basically, since its launch, the company has amassed an impressive figure of 65.8 million euros in losses.

Its debt rose from 43.4 million to 47.9 million euros in the last financial year.

Founded with the aim of carrying out constructive changes in Africa, promoting commercial exchanges and producing its collections throughout the continent, Edun was mainly financed by “member loans”, always based on the results reported in 2016.

LVMH, which controls giants such as Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior, had begun to invest in Edun since 2009, acquiring a 49% stake in the company.
On the advice of LVMH, Edun had changed stylist, hiring an Irishman, Sharon Wauchob, to replace the initial designer, Rogan Gregory, known for his work on denim. LVMH then encouraged Edun to change direction, naming Danielle Sherman in 2013 as creative director.

But the designer had ended up resigning in 2016 and the design of the collections had been entrusted to a “collective” of designers.

At the time of investing in the brand of Bono and his wife, LVMH president Bernard Arnault said: “LVMH shares the vision and ethical values ​​of Edun, a pioneer of ethical clothing, and its founders.”

At the time, Edun supplied fabrics from small producers scattered around the four corners of the globe: in India, Peru, Tunisia, Kenya, Uganda, Lesotho, Madagascar and Tanzania.

“Our group is proud to contribute to the operational development of the activities of Edun and the local communities involved. LVMH is committed to sustainable development, from a social and environmental point of view: which is inseparable from the development of our brands “, added the French entrepreneur.

Shortly thereafter, Bono and Ali had appeared in the “Core Values” media campaign of Louis Vuitton, photographed by Annie Leibovitz after landing their plane in the African savannah, wearing Edun’s clothes and Louis Vuitton bags.

Today, our internal sources at LVMH describe Edun as an early mark on time, perhaps the first truly ecological brand. The managers of LVMH have always recognized that Edun represented a phase of accelerated learning for the French group, useful to improve their knowledge of emerging markets in Africa and to understand in depth the issues of the booming ecological fashion.

Throughout its history, Edun has benefited from the support of many fashion magazines and media, intrigued by the involvement of the rockstar. But LVMH would have grown tired of waiting for the growth of the brand, given Edun’s inability to be able to snatch significant orders from department stores or specialized boutiques.

That’s why, after almost nine years of collaboration, a good number of which ended in loss, Bernard Arnault decided to stop putting money back and to end this journey in the world of alternative fashion.