Privé Revaux Takes on Private Equity Partner

TSG Consumer Partners has taken a minority stake in the affordable eyewear brand.

Privé Revaux Eyewear has a new minority owner.

The eyewear brand that counts celebrities Jamie Foxx, Hailee Steinfeld, Ashley Benson and entrepreneur David Schottenstein as founders has received an undisclosed investment from private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners.

The investment coincides with the first anniversary of the launch of the affordable eyewear brand.

“When it comes to consumer-facing private equity, TSG is the gold standard, having backed leading brands like Revolve, Vitaminwater, Smashbox Cosmetics, Huda Beauty, IT Cosmetics and Paige,” said Schottenstein. “Privé Revaux is one of the youngest brands to ink a deal with TSG, and this partnership will enable us to continue growing and accomplish goals that we never thought possible at such an early stage. I have no doubt that over the next few years, Privé Revaux will firmly position itself as a powerhouse in the affordable luxury market.”

In an interview, Schottenstein said TSG has purchased stock from the shareholders and invested money into the company to fuel its growth.

As a result of the investment, he said the plan is to embark on a three-pronged strategy to grow. It includes expanding the brick-and-mortar retail presence “dramatically,” he said. The brand operates a store on 42nd Street near Bryant Park in New York and “the goal is to open up a couple more in the city.”

The company is also close to finalizing a location for a store in Los Angeles and is

looking for sites in “other major cities,” Schottenstein said.

In addition, the company’s kiosk concept that it operates in malls and other retail stores will be expanded. There are currently four in Miami and eight in the Tristate area, he said, and 11 more are scheduled to open in Los Angeles on Aug. 1.

The third prong is the brand’s wholesale initiative. Privé Revaux is carried in retailers including Nordstrom, Express, American Eagle Outfitters, QVC, DSW and others. Schottenstein said it expects to expand its presence within Express and American Eagle in particular, along with its online business.

The brand is about to reveal its first international location. Schottenstein declined to name the retailer, but said it is one of the largest optical groups in France and operates 1,300 stores. For that launch, Privé Revaux will create a special World Cup frame called Le Champion to commemorate the country’s recent win.

Schottenstein admitted that “we’re good at some things and not so good at others,” so he plans to lean heavily on TSG’s expertise in retail and digital to help fill in the blanks.

Other plans include additional celebrity collaborations. The brand offered a capsule with “Riverdale” star Madelaine Petsch that was successful, so ”part two” is in the works, Schottenstein said. There is also a special collection called R&M, created by the company’s creative directors, celebrity Hollywood stylists Rob Zangardi and Mariel Haenn.

In addition, Privé Revaux will create collections around its other celebrity partners, Steinfeld and Benson. So far, Foxx has held off on having his own line, opting instead for wearing pieces from the Petsch collection, Schottenstein said. He said the actor is heavily involved in the business and believes in its vision to offer high-quality affordable eyewear to the masses.

Schottenstein said when launching the brand, he had vetted more than 30 celebrities who expressed interest in the concept and decided on these because of their commitment to Privé Revaux’s vision.

Foxx said collaborating with TSG “is an honor. One look at their portfolio and you know these guys mean business. I couldn’t be more excited about Privé Revaux’s future.”

Blythe Jack, managing director at TSG, said his company was drawn to Privé Revaux’s “dynamic mix of omnichannel distribution, high-quality affordable products and effective influencer marketing” that has “quickly proven to be a disruptive force in the eyewear space — selling more than one million pairs of sunglasses in its inaugural year. The company is clearly poised for significant global growth, and we’re incredibly excited to collaborate with Privé Revaux as it looks to further accelerate its rapid adoption by fashion-forward consumers worldwide.”

Privé Revaux was founded in June 2017 on the premise of making premium sunglasses at an affordable price. It offers more than 100 hand-crafted and polarized designer frames that retail for $29.95. In France, the frames will sell for 34.95 euros.

Schottenstein, a member of the Ohio family that made its name in the retail business with discounters such as Value City Department Stores, DSW and Filene’s Basement, has called himself a serial entrepreneur. He started his first business at age 12, selling cigars to businessmen. He founded the custom bespoke tailoring company Astor & Black, which he sold to private equity firm Castanea Partners, as well as Swiss Stays, a collar stay brand that he sold to a private investor.

But Schottenstein said now, at age 34, he’s found his calling. “My plan is to stick with this long-term,” he said. “This is actually the first time I’ve felt this way and my vision is to build this into an affordable global luxury brand.”

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