End Clothing lines up former Gucci chief to fashion growth spurt

Business

A former boss of Gucci is being lined up by Carlyle, the global buyout giant, to fashion a fresh growth spurt at End, the British online clothing business it bought this year.

Sky News understands that Patrizio di Marco, who left Gucci in 2014 and subsequently had a spell with Dolce & Gabbana, another famed Italian fashion house, is to join End in the coming months as its chairman.

His appointment will be a coup for End, whose shareholders were left toasting a £750m sale to Carlyle in March.

Christiaan Ashworth and John Parker, who launched End Clothing in 2005 after graduating from Newcastle University, sold a controlling stake but retained an economic interest and remained as co-chief executives.

End launched as a menswear store in Newcastle, before launching the e-commerce business which became the engine of the company’s growth in 2006.

It sells luxury brands online including Givenchy, Valentino and Mr di Marco’s former company, Gucci.

His appointment at End will reunite Mr di Marco with Carlyle, for which he served as chairman of the luxury brand Golden Goose.

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The sale of Golden Goose to Permira resulted in a return of more than 3.5 times Carlyle’s original investment, making it one of the private equity firm’s most lucrative consumer goods deals.

End, which now also trades from a store in London’s Soho, has partnerships with more than 500 brands and sells to more than 100 countries.

Carlyle declined to comment on Sunday.

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