Australian fashion label Ginger & Smart – which was founded in 2002 by Sydney sisters Alexandra and Genevieve Smart – has announced it has sold a majority stake in the business to Alceon Retail Group (ARG), with plans to expand the business locally and overseas.
Known for bright prints, bold patterns and cocktail dresses, this sister act has come a long way from its start in a lounge room 17 years ago. With 27 Australian stockists, the label is also featured on online retail platform The Iconic.
Alexandra will remain in her role as managing director, while Genevieve will continue as creative director.
“It’s a very exciting time for Ginger & Smart,” Alexandra tells Broadsheet over the phone, on what’s been an incredibly busy day of meetings for the duo. “Gen and I have been wanting to do this for a long time. We’ve gone into partnership with ARG with the view to grow the business across several channels.
We’re going to be expanding our digital footprint and our online business. And we’re going to be working to consolidate our retail and concession stores and launching internationally as well.”
The sisters confirm that with ARG’s backing, the clothing label will be able to open between eight and 15 standalone retail stores and concessions in David Jones, while also moving into new categories and establishing a presence in the US.
“ARG have partnered with us because they want to position themselves into the more premium, luxury end of the market,” says Alexandra. “And they see Ginger & Smart as positioning really well in that category.” The label’s sustainable efforts, from using biodegradable fabrics to being transparent about its production line at every point, was also a drawcard for the company.
ARG is well known in fashion circles for having a large stake in Australian label NoniB, among other retailers.
In an official statement, ARG’s Executive Director Richard Facioni said the investment was “a strategic move to diversify our portfolio”, and confirmed that the company has a “plan to grow the business, both online and through physical stores”.
When asked whether this was part one of a two-part sale process, the sisters were firm that they’re not going anywhere. “Gen and I have built this business up for 17 years. We’re extremely committed to Ginger & Smart and motivated to grow the business and take it where we’ve always dreamed,” says Alexandra.