AllSaints is a British fashion retailer headquartered in London, UK. AllSaints sells menswear, womenswear apparel, footwear, and accessories in more than 212 stores, and 3,200 employees across 14 countries including the UK, France, USA, Canada, South Korea and Taiwan. Currently, 85 percent of the company is owned by Lion Capital LLP.
AllSaints was founded in 1994 by Stuart Trevor, and Kait Bolongaro, who was the original womenswear designer at AllSaints, and who have after gone on to found the Bolongaro Trevor label. AllSaints started as a wholesale menswear brand that sold exclusively to high-end retailers such as Harvey Nichols and Harrods. The company was named after Stuart Trevor's pseudonym, "The Saint", based on his initials "ST" and updated at the 1993 Notting Hill Carnival that he attended, spending much of his time on All Saints Road. The first stand-alone AllSaints store was opened in Foubert Place off Carnaby Street in London on AllSaints Day in 1997. The company's first womenswear collection followed the next year (1998), born directly out of the expanding menswear collection.
Growth and expansion (1999–2015)
By mid-2004, AllSaints had expanded to 10 stores in the UK and was poised to launch its childrenswear line. Between mid-2004 and the end of 2005, controversial fashion financier Kevin Stanford, co-founder of womenswear chain Karen Millen, bought out each of AllSaints partners besides Stuart Trevor, thus acquiring a majority stake in the company. Finally in December 2005, Stanford bought out Trevor's stake in the company as well. In 2006, AllSaints sold a 35 percent stake in the company to Icelandic investment firm, Baugur Group, with Kevin Stanford as the majority shareholder. In late 2006, the company launched its e-commerce website.
AllSaints rapidly expanded globally in 2009–10. That same year the company launched its U.S.-specific e-commerce site and opened its first U.S. store in New York City. Starting in 2009, AllSaints opened stores all across the United States; including New York, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Washington, D.C., Santa Monica, Seattle and Chicago. By 2010, the cost of North American expansion was £43 million. Approximately half of revenues now come from overseas and the company has 2,675 employees, with an average age of 27.
Acquisition by Lion Capital (2011–12)
In April 2011, due to mismanagement by Kevin Stanford, rapid expansion, and the collapse of Icelandic investment firm Baugur Group, All Saints was £53 million in debt and on the brink of collapse. In May 2011, citing AllSaints' international potential and online presence, Lion Capital LLP, the British private equity firm headed by Lyndon Lea, combined with Goode Partners to purchase a 76 percent stake in AllSaints Spitalfields for £105 million. Lion Capital effectively saved AllSaints from collapse, which would have resulted in the loss of 3,000 jobs. The firm began to take an active role in day-to-day management, and hired 8 new top executives to manage the company. In 2012, Wil Beedle, formerly men’s design director, was appointed Chief Creative Officer overseeing the design and creative vision for all product categories.
In March 2012, Goode Partners sold its eleven percent stake to Lion Capital as well as another eleven percent stake it held with additional co-investors, leaving Lion Capital with an 85 percent stake in AllSaints.
In 2012, Lion Capital brought in William Kim, an industry veteran whose career included several years at Gucci Group and most recently Burberry, to be Chief Executive Officer. Under CEO William Kim’s leadership, the company has successfully turned around its fortunes, with latest results announcing a revenue increase of six percent over the previous year to £231.1 million, with an increase of 41 percent in EBITDA to £24.4 million, the largest EBITDA in the company’s history.
Products and aesthetic
As of 2015, AllSaints sells Menswear, Womenswear, Footwear, and accessories through its department store locations, stand-alone retail stores and its website. The brand launched its first comprehensive handbag line, "The Capital Collection" in September 2015.
In popular culture
AllSaints has had a connexion to popular culture after its founding in 1994 when it was named after a famous London street (All Saints Road in Notting Hill). Young American and British celebrities are seen and photographed wearing AllSaints clothes to events and entering or leaving AllSaints stores.
The company's strongest connexion to date has been to the music industry, where they have collaborated with a large number of established musical acts, including: Kings of Leon, Blonde Redhead, and the Dum Dum Girls. AllSaints hosts a series of live music performances in Los Angeles titled "The LA Sessions".including global artists such as OneRepublic, Echosmith and Mikky Ekko.
In 2010, the English rapper Tinie Tempah released a single titled "Frisky" that entered the UK Singles Chart at #2 and mentioned the brand in one of the lyrics: "I think I found a winner, with no ring around her finger. Her dress from AllSaints, but I think I’ve found a sinner". In 2013, Justin Timberlake released a single titled "Suit & Tie" featuring Jay-Z in which Jay-Z additionally mentioned the brand in the lyrics: "Tom Ford tuxedos for no reason. AllSaints for my angel. Alexander Wang too".
In 2011, AllSaints launched a project called "Basement Sessions" that features weekly performances and interviews from both emerging and established musical acts. Acts who have appeared on Basement Sessions include: Calvin Harris, Fatboy Slim, Aloe Blacc, DJ Harvey, Gary Numan, Tricky, The Naked and Famous, Kelis, Foster the People, and Alpines.
Activism and philanthropy
In addition to music, AllSaints is additionally active in social causes and public service. In Summer 2011, the company entered into a long-term partnership with the Not For Sale organization and launched a T-shirt line whose profits go toward combating human trafficking. Later that year, AllSaints released a short documentary titled Voices of the Cloth intended to promote British design and manufacturing. The company currently sponsors eight scholarships in MSc International Fashion Marketing to the Glasgow Caledonian University, London.