New York fashion darling, Ryan Roche, known for her neutral-hued knitwear collection, has landed her first investor, the Italian firm Redemption Group. Through its holding Stella LLC and led by Gabriele Moratti, Redemption Group now holds a 49 percent stake in Roche’s business, an investment that Roche says will help her grow and expand her 5-year old label into a more global brand.
“My business has grown so quickly, and I just feel like it’s at this critical point where you either continue to grow and struggle or you really solidify it and put in place the team. That required financing and this additional business support, and they were able to bring both to me,” Roche told Vogue earlier this month. Redemption Group first approached her about a year ago, but Roche was hesitant: “For me, because my brand is like my baby, it was really important to find the right person that could bring to the table exactly what I was looking for.”
Among the things that sweetened the deal: The fact that Moratti owns his own brand, Redemption, which donates 50 percent of its profits to charity and stages twice-annual fashion shows during Paris Fashion Week. (Roche is something of a humanitarian herself; her exquisite cashmere comes from an all-women’s co-operative in Nepal, after all. The result is a design process and supply chain that is entirely transparent; there are no ethical ambiguities here).
Of the newly-announced deal with Moratti, Roche says: “He and his team bring to Ryan Roche this incredible foundation and business structure. It’s kind of like everything that I was looking for in terms of creating something that was so much more stable for the brand.”
As for what the Ryan Roche expansion will look like, Roche says she will introduce a slightly expanded selection of woven pieces as part of her Resort 2017 collection. “We’re doing some beautiful tailored blazers and jackets with that amazing Italian quality and amazing Italian fabrics,” she says. “Our knits are still our biggest sellers; the wovens haven’t really been there yet to invest in. I’m so excited to be here and have this amazing quality in Italy to be able to introduce our wovens in a big way. It’s not going to be a huge collection, but the ones that are there are going to be amazing standouts.” Also in the works: a new studio space near Roche’s home in Rhinecliff, New York (she moved out of Manhattan in 2008), and new categories in the not-so-distant future.