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Adastria U.S. Spending Spree Continues With Buy of Velvet

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The contemporary brand Velvet by Graham & Spencer is part of the Japan-based company’s bid to grow its North American apparel portfolio.

Los Angeles contemporary label Velvet by Graham & Spencer is looking to grow under its new owners, Adastria Co. Ltd.

Japan-based Adastria, which has revenue of $1.8 billion, said it bought 100 percent of the contemporary brand for an undisclosed price. Velvet is known for its effortless L.A.-inspired styles that include cotton slub T-shirts, gauzy tops and denim staples for women sold in stores such as Anthropologie, Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Planet Blue, Revolve and Shopbop. Velvet also has eight of its own stores in the U.S. in places such as Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice, Calif., the Platform development in Culver City, Calif., Madison Avenue and Prince Street in New York, along with one door in the U.K.

Bringing Velvet into the fold “allows us to establish a strategic presence in North America and in the world of contemporary fashion, as we seek to transform Adastria into a leading global apparel company,” said Adastria representative director and chief operating officer Masa Matsushita of the acquisition.

Henry Hirschowitz, Velvet cofounder and chief executive officer, said “further opportunities for Velvet will materialize” with the sale given Adastria’s experience in both retail and online.

Plans for Velvet by Graham & Spencer call for what Matsushita said would be an acceleration of the company’s growth with a focus on direct selling.

Adastria’s portfolio totals 21 brands across categories, including shoes, accessories and home for men, women and children. Those brands reflect a mix of high end, contemporary and young contemporary. The apparel company also has in its stable more than 1,300 stores in Japan and another 108 elsewhere in the world.

The purchase of Velvet follows Adastria’s pick up of a minority stake in San Francisco-based Marine Layer Inc. about a year ago in what marked its first purchase of a U.S. company.