Reese Witherspoon Sells Majority Stake in Draper James
Private equity group Consortium Brand Partners announced Wednesday that it has acquired actress Reese Witherspoon’s fashion and lifestyle brand, Draper James, through a majority stake. According to the deal, Consortium Brand Partners acquired a 70 percent stake in the company for an undisclosed amount while Witherspoon remains a partner and board member in the business. The Oscar-winning actress, producer and entrepreneur launched the retail brand inspired by her Southern roots in 2015 as a direct-to-consumer business selling clothing in bright hues and bold prints, accessories and home items.
Total Retail's Take: Growing the fashion brand and then selling it to a private equity group for what one would assume is a healthy price is a smart business move by Witherspoon, particularly at a time of economic uncertainty and increasing challenges for digital-native brands expanding into physical retail. She offloads majority investment in Draper James, and the financial burdens that come with it, while still maintaining a board seat and having at least some influence over the brand's future direction. As for its future, according to a Consortium Brand Partners' press release, Draper James will extend its presence globally to premium department and specialty stores, along with expanding its exclusive RSVP collection with Kohl’s.